Did you ever wonder what a mosquito bite looks like close up? So did I, so here it is. I felt it land on my arm, probably the movement of the hairs. I had been photographing other little insects gnawing on me this weekend so it only took about 30 seconds to get my camera out and change the settings. She wasn't bothered in the least with having a big camera two inches away.
While I was working one handed with the camera, she (only female mosquitoes bite) was searching under my epidermis for a blood vessel. Once found, she injected saliva with anticoagulant to insure that the blood would keep flowing into her proboscis. So far, this can be painless but my body's immune system had been alerted and it released histamine at the site. This caused the sting and the subsequent swelling. When you slap, you probably have her saliva on board so just hope she hasn't been promiscuous with a disease carrier!
|"I can't believe I drank that much" (After 2 minutes)|
Last week we were in Bob Ranney's back yard when I grabbed at a slow flying insect. We argued about what it was as it was bigger than the mosquitoes we see at Bull Creek, but as usual he was right. This turned out to be an Asian Tiger Mosquito, Aedes albopictus. It arrived in Texas in 1985 and spread rapidly, now extending from Oklahoma and Missouri to Pennsylvania. (CDC) They can range from 3-10mm depending on food size, so Bob's was well fed.
"This mosquito has become a significant pest in many communities because it closely associates with humans (rather than living in wetlands), and typically flies and feeds in the daytime in addition to at dusk and dawn. The insect is called a tiger mosquito for its striped appearance, which resembles that of the tiger." Wikipedia.
|Unknown digging in.|
|Unknown biting hand that fed it|
|Tick at lunch|