44.5 MB (2.2 MB compressed)
4745 x 3276 pixels
40.1 x 27.7 cm ⏐ 15.8 x 10.9 in (300dpi)
NORM THOMAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NORM THOMAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Culex mosquito. Macrophotograph of a female southern house mosquito, Culex nigripalpus, resting on a lily. This tropical mosquito can transmit St. Louis encephalitis, a potentially lethal form of encephalitis (brain inflammation). Mosquitoes belong to the family Culicidae (order Diptera) which includes about 1500 species. Only female mosquitoes bite, using a piercing proboscis. At the tip of the proboscis, blood is mixed with saliva, preventing clotting and hence the obstruction of the narrow food channel within the proboscis. The virus that causes encephalitis is passed into the bloodstream when the mosquito feeds.
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