The Anopheles Mosquito
About 3500 species of Mosquitoes exist in this world; these buzzing little insects not only are irksome but they are dangerous too because of their ability to spread several life-threatening diseases to humans. One such mosquito species is the Anopheles mosquito which is the main source of spreading malaria. So let’s have a look at it.
HOW TO IDENTIFY ANOPHELES MOSQUITOES
The body of an adult Anopheles mosquito is divided into three parts which are Head, Abdomen, and Thorax. They are black to brown in color and on average an Anopheles mosquito is 1/8 to 3/9 inch long.
They have small wings and scales that run through the veins of the wings and their mouth has long, sharp, beak-like sucking parts which they use to sting their prey, especially humans. These mouthparts are called proboscis. Anopheles Mosquitoes also possess a pair of antennae having feathery texture.
Unlike other types of mosquitoes, when an Anopheles mosquito is in sitting position, its stomach is pointed upwards. The female Anopheles Mosquito is bigger in size as compared to the Male Anopheles.
A single female Anopheles mosquito can mate for several times in its small lifetime and can lay up to 200 eggs at a time. A female lays eggs directly on the water or in any container possessing stagnant water. The life cycle of the Anopheles mosquito takes 4–30 days to complete and it depends largely on the surrounding temperature; in favorable climatic conditions, it can take just 4 days to become an adult. The average lifespan of an Anopheles mosquito is around 2 weeks.
The Anopheles mosquito is not active in the daylight and attacks it’s victims at night, it remains active from dusk to dawn. Females feed on the blood of different mammals, humans, birds, reptiles, amphibians, etc, because they need protein to produce eggs, whereas male mosquitoes feed on plant nectar. The optimum temperature for Anopheles mosquitoes to thrive is around 84°F.
Mosquito bites are always painful, but bites by the Anopheles mosquito aren’t just painful but dangerous too. If you witness symptoms like fever, vomiting, chills, nausea, headache, and weakness, then you should instantly consult a doctor. Symptoms of malaria never appear immediately after a mosquito bite, usually, it takes around 7–30 days to appear.