Mosquitoes are probably one of the most annoying things in today's modern world, and I bet we've all wished at one time or another that we could wipe them out altogether.

Unfortunately, although it would prove very nice for a while, our ecosystem is so fragile, by wiping out an entire species of insects would set of a chain reaction of extinctions which would most likely lead up to our extinction.

For example, one case of near extinction was when the Sea Otter was hunted for its pelt. Sea Otters ate Sea Urchins (its amazing how they ate them. They would balance a rock on their stomach then crack them open), and Sea Urchins ate kelp, and so did alot of other species of sea creatures, and alot of sea predators ate them. So when there were less Sea Otters, there were more Sea Urchins, and less Kelp, which meant less of the kelp eating fish, and less of the predators, and eventually less of the Sea Urchins, but still not enough kelp. Confusing, but it almost lead to several extinctions.

Moral of the story, don't wish for extinctions, they can only bring bad tidings.

"Mosquito" is a Spanish word roughly meaning "little fly."
The number of mosquito species can be safely estimated at about 2500. They are of the Order diptera, or True Flies. As with other True Flies, they have a pair of wings (as opposing to two pairs), and the females of the various mosquito species have a group of long, needle-like piercing-sucking proboscis. Some species of mosquitoes can cause malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, and the West Nile Virus. They are not typically dangerous contrary to this information, and are more or less an annoyance. In some animals, they can be such a nuisance that the cause dehydration.

Mosquito eggs float on water, and this is usually their mode of transportation. Water is necessary in their habitat, and some species which do not lay their eggs in water, lay them in damp soil, near water.
Their larvae live in the water; they come to the surface to breathe. They almost continuously shed their skin, growing as each layer is shed. These larvae feed on whatever they can in the water - usually micro-organisms and any organic matter they can ingest.
The pupal stage is a two-day period of rest in which the mosquito matures, growing to its full size.
The mosquito first rests in the beginning of its adult stage of life. It has to allow its wings to dry - mosquito's wings cannot function while wet - and it has to allow its body to harden. The entirety of their life cycle ranges from ten to twenty days.

Only the female mosquitoes require blood as a food source. The males feed on the nectar of flowers as their primary food source. As a general rule, most mosquitoes are persistent biters, and attack in the morning, and evening, which is referred to as crepusular feeding.

A mosquito is also the name of a smallish surgical instrument, namely a forcep used, amongst other things, for grabbing small veins during surgical repair of varicose veins (as I found out recently).

The Mosquito - an outstanding poem by D H Lawrence (1885-1930), from the book Birds, Beasts, and Flowers: Poems.

If you take the time to study the words, I think you might find that Lawrence's descriptions really highlight the annoying habits of the little blighters - and of course there's a happy ending, for the man at least!

When did you start your tricks,
What do you stand on such high legs for?
Why this length of shredded shank,
You exaltation?

Is it so that you shall lift your centre of gravity upwards
And weigh no more than air as you alight upon me,
Stand upon me weightless, you phantom?

I heard a woman call you the Winged Victory
In sluggish Venice.
You turn your head towards your tail, and smile.

How can you put so much devilry
Into that translucent phantom shred
Of a frail corpus?

Queer, with your thin wings and your streaming legs,
How you sail like a heron, or a dull clot of air,
A nothingness.

Yet what an aura surrounds you;
Your evil little aura, prowling, and casting a numbness on my mind.

That is your trick, your bit of filthy magic:
Invisibility, and the anaesthetic power
To deaden my attention in your direction.

But I know your game now, streaky sorcerer.
Queer, how you stalk and prowl the air
In circles and evasions, enveloping me,
Ghoul on wings
Winged Victory.

Settle, and stand on long thin shanks
Eyeing me sideways, and cunningly conscious that I am aware,
You speck.

I hate the way you lurch off sideways into air
Having read my thoughts against you.

Come then, let us play at unawares,
And see who wins in this sly game of bluff.
Man or mosquito.

You don't know that I exist, and I don't know that you exist.
Now then!

It is your trump,
It is your hateful little trump,
You pointed fiend,
Which shakes my sudden blood to hatred of you:
It is your small, high, hateful bugle in my ear.

Why do you do it?
Surely it is bad policy.

They say you can't help it.

If that is so, then I believe a little in Providence protecting the innocent.
But it sounds so amazingly like a slogan
A yell of triumph as you snatch my scalp.

Blood, red blood
Forbidden liquor.

I behold you stand
For a second enspasmed in oblivion,
Obscenely ecstasied
Sucking live blood
My blood.

Such silence, such suspended transport,
Such gorging,
Such obscenity of trespass.

You stagger
As well as you may.
Only your accursed hairy frailty,
Your own imponderable weightlessness
Saves you, wafts you away on the very draught my anger makes in its snatching.

Away with a pæan of derision
You winged blood-drop.

Can I not overtake you?
Are you one too many for me
Winged Victory?
Am I not mosquito enough to out-mosquito you?

Queer, what a big stain my sucked blood makes
Beside the infinitesimal faint smear of you!
Queer, what a dim dark smudge you have disappeared into!

The World Mosquito Killing Championships is held every year in Pelkosenniemi, Finland.

The object is to kill as many mosquitoes by hand (no machines or chemicals allowed) in five minutes.
Henri Pellonpää has the World and Guinness Record for mosquito killing for killing 21 at the 95 championship.

The record before that was 7.

Mosquitoes: A Study In Useless Evolution

When I was a good Lutheran boy, and my mother was a god-fearing, Lutheran sunday school teacher I asked her a question during class one day, "Mom, why are there mosquitoes? I mean, they aren't good for anything. They just make you itch."

"Because of original sin," was her reply. Continuing, "Eve gave Adam the apple and they both ate it, and because of that, evil came into the world."

"So," I followed up with a sincere heart, "If Adam and Eve never ate the apple, then there would be no mosquitoes?"

"Yes," confidence resonated in her voice.

And I was satisfied. The way I saw it, and the way she so faithfully told it, the devil was responsible for mosquitoes. And since the devil persuaded man into an existence of evil, I put mosquitoes as the henchman grandchild of the devil. And it was good.

I grew as children do, I learned as a sieve does, and I took classes and classes of drugs that changed me. The Buddha was a good man. Hindu Gods have heads of elephants and a million arms, but there is a reason for that. The devil is relative; there is good and bad in everything. And don't you know opposites couldn't even exist without the other.

Nothing changes the fact that mosquitoes are pure evil.

They suck blood, our life spring, and put in a poison for no particular reason except to make weak-willed humans scratch till the blood that belongs in veins flows on pale skin. Look at yellow fever; do I need say more?

Now, there are scientists, pacifists, Darwinists, and hordes of misguided Jainists that will toss up an argument here as to the benefit of said needle wielding insects. Spiders eat them, and a rat eats a spider, and then something else eats that, and so on. And so really truly mosquitoes are needed for you to devour your dinner. Fuck that. All life is equal, it is only our perception that acknowledges higher and lesser beings: so all species must in harmony? Fuck that. Mosquitoes are your genetic ancestors and not to mention the pollinators of some species of lime that fed the voyagers to our brave, bleesed, new world. And fuck that.

You, you, you mosquitoes have no place in my world. The only positive thing I may wish upon your soul is that you are reincarted as something that actually does one bit of noteworthy good in this universe. Till then, you and you alone are the only creature on this planet that is completely and totally useless, no matter what "good" you may do. You spread disease and make us itch. You give my sweet soft girlfriend welts that look like I rough her up a bit from time to time. My ankles are raw and I can't wear socks. Peace on your journey, but till then will you just become another number on the extinct species list.

And it was good.

Mos*qui"to (?), n.; pl. Mosquitoes (#). [Sp. mosquito, fr. moscafly, L. musca. Cf. Musket.] Zool.

Any one of various species of gnats of the genus Culex and allied genera. The females have a proboscis containing, within the sheathlike labium, six fine, sharp, needlelike organs with which they puncture the skin of man and animals to suck the blood. These bites, when numerous, cause, in many persons, considerable irritation and swelling, with some pain. The larvae and pupae, called wigglers, are aquatic.

[Written also musquito.]

Mosquito bar, Mosquito net, a net or curtain for excluding mosquitoes, -- used for beds and windows. -- Mosquito fleet, a fleet of small vessels. -- Mosquito hawk Zool., a dragon fly; -- so called because it captures and feeds upon mosquitoes. -- Mosquito netting, a loosely-woven gauzelike fabric for making mosquito bars.


© Webster 1913.

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