A male mosquito in Borneo

A male mosquito in Borneo


2016-10-18 TAMAN SEMARAK

A male lives off plant nectar and doesn't bite, his feathery antennae are used to detect the whine of a female's wings, his long palp to smell her pheromones.

But this 5mm male mosquito does bite and the bite is sharp and follow by itchiness.

Abdomen of a male mosquito

Only FEMALE mosquitoes take blood meal

ADULT MOSQUITO ANTENNA Male - bushy or Plumose Female - scanty hairs or Pilose.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Mosquito-borne Dengue Disease


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Adult tiger mosquitoes are medium sized, black in color with distinctive white stripes. This color pattern is the basis for the name "tiger."

The Asian Tiger Mosquito is easy to spot. The mosquito's color pattern consists of a dark black background highlighted with bright white markings. The legs are broadly striped with snow white scales, the thorax has a distinct white racing stripe down its center and the abdomen has incomplete white stripes that appear as lines of bold white dots.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito, like most mosquitoes, waves her legs above her head as she attempts to bite. The bright banding pattern on the hind legs accentuates the waving behavior and serves as a forewarning for the pain that will follow. Asian Tiger Mosquito is small. A robust adult female in quest of a blood meal measures slightly less than 1/4" in total length.

Identification of an Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito are known as tiger mosquitoes due to their  patterns of very black bodies with white stripes.

Also, there is a distinctive single white band (stripe) down the length of the back.

The body length is about 3/16-inch long. Like all adult mosquitoes, Asian tiger mosquitoes are small, fragile insects with slender bodies, one pair of narrow wings with tiny scales, and three pairs of long, slender legs. They have an elongate proboscis (beak) with which the female bites and feeds on blood, while males feed only on plant nectar.

Eggs are elongate, usually 1/40-inch long, and dark brown to black near hatching. Larvae (wigglers) are filter feeders that move with an S-shaped motion.

Pupae (tumblers) are comma-shaped, appearing to tumble through the water when disturbed.

Another female Asian Mosquito suck my blood. This time is a mosquito with 3 lice (ticks or fleas). Lice in-turn suck blood from the mosquito which is a tiny amount much less than a mosquito does.

Above photo taken on 14 September 2008 at a forest reserve in Tawau Town.

The tiger mosquito is native to Asia.

Female tiger mosquitoes are the sex of most concern to humans because, as in the case for all mosquitoes, only females bite. The reason for the particular lust for blood by the female mosquitoes is the drive to reproduce. Blood is a rich source of protein which nourishes mosquito egg development and has since the age of the dinosaurs.

Female tiger mosquitoes seek water-holding containers in which to lay their eggs. Any container from a tire casing to a tree hole is a possible breeding site, but this mosquito has preferences. Outdoor containers are greatly preferred over indoor containers and outdoor containers in the shade are preferred over those in full sunlight. Containers holding dark stained water high in organic content are preferred over containers holding clear, clean water.

Eggs are deposited along the sides of a container, just above the water surface. The rate of hatching success increases if the eggs remain unflooded for a few days after being laid and the eggs can remain viable for long periods before flooding, such as during prolonged droughts. The eggs are stimulated to hatch when the water level in the container rises and floods the eggs, provided the water temperature is above 60F. If colder water temperatures prevail, the eggs will not hatch, but can remain viable for long periods (overwinter) until warmer temperatures return. After hatching, mosquito larvae live in the water for one to several weeks, depending on water temperature and the amount of food present.

Immature mosquitoes go through four growth stages and molt their skins four times as their size increases. The last immature stage is known as the pupa. In the pupal stage, changes occur allowing the transformation from an aquatic larva to a terrestrial, free-flying adult mosquito. During the summer, the immature life stage typically lasts five to ten days.

Mating takes place shortly after adults emerge from breeding sites. Females mate only once in their lifetime. Sperm is stored in the females' bodies and they can lay fertile eggs several times during a life span. Two to three days after emergence, female mosquitoes take their first blood meal. Tiger mosquitoes rest, fly and bite close to the ground. They bite in the daytime, rarely at night. Early morning and late afternoon are peak biting times. Tiger mosquitoes are strongly attracted to bite humans, but will feed on cats, dogs and other mammals, as well as birds active on the ground. They will bite any exposed skin surface, but prefer to feed around the ankles and knees. They bite outdoors and indoors, but are usually found outside. On average, tiger mosquitoes ingest 2 - 6 milliliters of blood per bite.

Female tiger mosquitoes lay 40 to 150 eggs after obtaining a blood meal. The cycle of blood feeding and egg laying will continue throughout the mosquito's life span. Egg laying occurs about once per week. The maximum number of eggs laid per lifetime by female tiger mosquitoes is about 300.

Adult tiger mosquitoes live from a few days to several weeks, largely depending on weather conditions. Hot, dry weather reduces life expectancy. Regardless of life span, adult tiger mosquitoes seldom move far from the containers in which they were born. Most adults will be found within a few hundred yards of the breeding container.

Tiger mosquitoes are persistent, moderately aggressive biters. They prefer to feed on the lower legs. The mosquito is very agile and can be difficult to kill with a casual slap. Young children playing outdoors during the early morning or late afternoon in shaded areas are particularly vulnerable to being bitten as they are often sitting or crawling on the ground and, being distracted by play, do not notice the mosquitoes.

The bite of the tiger mosquito is not painful and often goes unnoticed. Interrupted feeding is common and a female mosquito may bite the same person several times or move from person to person before the urge to blood feed is satiated.

The itch and swelling of mosquito bites is caused by an anticoagulating substance from the mosquito's salivary glands injected into the bite wound to maintain a free flow of blood while she feeds. The itching sensation occurs soon after the mosquito bite and may persist for a few days. Scratching the bite can lead to secondary infection, especially on young children.

In Asia a mosquito bites can be deadly.  Day flying mosquitoes transmit dengue fever and yellow fever. Night flyers bring malaria and Japanese encephalitis.  We need to be careful. The first step in prevention is to understand the danger. Anyone suspecting the presence of, or collecting samples of specimens believed to be the Asian Tiger Mosquito in their area should contact: Department of Health.

An Asian Tiger Mosquito


Above photographs taken on 24 June 2007 at river beside Tawau Sports Complex while I went for evening outdoor sport.

Taman Semarak, half kilometer opposite of Tawau Sports Complex, is known to be infected area of dengue fever.  For the last 5 years, it is know 1 adult and 3 children died of dengue fever. The above wild Asian Tiger Mosquitor flew away after sucking a full drop of blood from my thumb.


INDEX : Insects   August 12, 2020 11:45:35 PM