House mosquito proboscis tip, SEM

House mosquito proboscis tip, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Common house mosquito proboscis tip (Culex sp.). The proboscis contains six parts: two pairs of sharp, flexible cutters (serrated blades and sharp tipped knives) surrounding a pair of fine tubes, one for sucking up blood, the other for dripping a chemical into the wound that keeps the blood flowing. Culex species lay their eggs in the form of egg rafts that float in still or stagnant water. In the United States, West Nile virus is transmitted primarily by Culex pipiens mosquitoes. Culex spp. become infected by biting certain birds carrying the West Nile virus and in turn transmits the virus to humans where it can cause encephalitis and meningitis. Culex spp. are also disease vectors of western equine and Saint Louis encephalitis. In addition, Culex spp. are carriers of viral encephalitis and filariasis. Magnification: x60 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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