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Mosquitoe on a window
Mosquitoe on a window

Mosquitoes (Culicidae) are a family of insects within the order two-winged flies (Diptera), the suborder thread-horns (Nematocera), the infraorder Culicomorpha and the superfamily Culicoidea. Mosquitoes have existed for about 170 million years. From a total of approximately 2700 species worldwide, 104 species can be found in Europe, almost all of which live in Central Europe. In most species only the females suck blood.
Mosquitoe - Culicidae
Mosquitoe - Culicidae
In almost every environment, mosquitoes live on bodies of water. The exceptions to this are the polar regions, deserts and altitudes of above 1500 metres. The body shape of mosquitoes varies but rarely exceeds 15 mm in length. Their bodies are slender, with relatively long legs. The wings are membranous and sometimes scaly. The head has 2 long antennae with many segments. The females also have a proboscis. The mouth parts of the males are not suitable for stinging.
Nematocera - Mosquitoe
Nematocera - Mosquitoe
The flight behaviour of mosquitoes depends on the prevailing weather and light conditions. They can fly at an altitude of up to 100 metres. In cold or rainy weather they usually stay close to the soil.
After mating and fertilization female mosquitoes feed on blood which they suck from mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians. This is essential for the formation of the eggs, as the blood supplies the protein required for this. All mosquitoes also feed on nectar or fruit juice.
The females lay their eggs in almost any appropriate water, regardless of the volume. The larvae of the mosquitoes develop under water. They get oxygen from the water surface, through a proboscis, which is located at the back end of the body. They feed on microorganisms and sometimes prey on other mosquito larvae.
Mosquitos can host pathogens (viruses, bacteria or parasites) and therefore represent a danger to humans. While their bites can cause pain, in addition to allergic reactions, the hosted bacteria can transmit various fever diseases depending on the region, such as yellow fever, dengue fever or malaria. In some places the fight against mosquitoes involves spraying BTI bacteria over large areas. This method targets the larvae.

Common namesMosquitoes
German namesStechmücken
Dutch namesSteekmuggen
Danish namesStikmyg
Finnish namesHyttyset
Norwegian namesStikkemygg
Swedish namesStickmyggor
Spanish namesZancudos, Mosquitos
AuthorMeigen, 1818




Indo-Australian region



World Oceans:

Atlantic Ocean
Indian Ocean

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Links and ReferencesCulicidae in
Culicidae in
Culicidae in
Culicidae in
Culicidae in Wikipedia (English)

Further chapters of "Mosquitoes"
- House mosquito
Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
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1. Mosquitoe on a window
2. Mosquitoe - Culicidae
3. Nematocera - Mosquitoe
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AuthorMeigen, 1818
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