28 August 2007

Scientist attacked by bloodthirsty tiger!

tiger mosq1

No sooner had I recovered from the psychological trauma of last week's mantid attack than my pure blood was spilled again in broad daylight. This time the honor went to an Asian tiger mosquito1 (Aedes albopictus).

The only arthropods that I kill intentionally are mosquitos2. I don't even kill the ticks I find on my clothing in the woods; I just flick them off. But it's different with mosquitos. There are so many of them and they just won't go away. You brush them off, they come back, you brush them off, they come back...

Another problem with the Asian tiger mosquitos is that they don't wait for the cover of darkness to initiate their blood-sucking, West Nile virus-transmitting business; instead, they do it during the day. That, of course, increases their chances of getting squashed in a pool of their victim's blood.

tiger mosq2

Natural selection was on my side this time.


1According to the information on Maryland Department of Agriculture's web page, "On average, tiger mosquitoes ingest 2 - 6 milliliters of blood per bite." This is totally, absolutely, ridiculously wrong. Such a tiny animal could not possibly fit that much blood into her body. The correct units are probably microliters. I just checked the size of a 5-µl water drop from a pipet. It could probably fit into the abdomen of a tiger mosquito with some stretching.
2I also collect
pseudoscorpions, but that I do in the name of science, which, of course, justifies almost everything I do. No?

8 comments:

Victor said...

ew i hate mosquitos LKfjalskfja That entry just made me shiver.

xoggoth said...

The Tiger has just been reliably reported in the UK apparently. Best to brush them rather than squash them, there are some scary stories on the net of infections from squashing and pushing material into the puncture.

PS Fancy killing a NICE little mosquito! All it needed to mend its ways was someone to understand it and a bit of counselling!

Brenda said...

We hardly had any mosquitoes here until early August. I think drought conditions kept them at bay.

Fleas, on the other hand...

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Please, no fleas!

umit said...

They ejaculate water inside blood with a quick speed just as they suck.So unlike fat female ticks they can move and bite you again and agan

Brenda said...

Here's what I want to know...

Why is it that there's such a great risk of transmitting HIV with a contaminated syringe, yet mosquitoes do not transmit the virus from victim to victim?

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Brenda, here is the answer.

Brenda said...

Thank you!