STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mosquito mouthparts. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the mouthparts of a mosquito (family Culicidae). The head is at far right, with compound eyes (red). The elongated structures extending from the head to far left are the two antennae and the mouthparts, with one of the front legs seen behind them. The two antennae, mounted between the eyes, are sensory structures. Below them are the mouthparts: several palps (long and short) and the proboscis (bottom structure, long and thick) ending in a sharp point at lower left. The proboscis is used to pierce the skin of humans and other mammals and feed on blood. Some mosquito species transmit diseases such as malaria.
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