NOAH PORITZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAH PORITZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mosquito sucking blood. Close-up of an unidentified non-malaria mosquito sucking blood from a human. Mosquitoes belong to the family known as Culicidae (order Diptera) which includes about 1500 species. Only the female mosquitoes bite. They use a piercing proboscis which consists of a bundle of no less than six stylets. Parallel to the proboscis runs the salivary channel. At the tip of the proboscis blood is mixed with the saliva which prevents clotting and hence the obstruction of the narrow food channel within the proboscis.
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