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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

18 April, 2016

Culex pipiens: the common mosquito



All too often in summer one can return from a walk on heath or meadows to find nasty sore bites on ones hands and legs. I suppose one of the most common perpetrators of these attacks is the common mosquito (Culex pipiens) which along with the common wasp are probably the two most hated insects in the country.
It is not only the common mosquito that bites of course; there are some pretty nasty relatives in the midge family that do so as well. It is the female of these insects that bite because they are dependent on blood to enable their eggs to develop and so ensure their species survives. They have to bite, they have no choice.
Many of us, then, will swat a mosquito on sight and never actually get a good look at one so here you are, this is what they look like close up and personal. Actually, I think their looks belie their 'evil' streak. They are a truly delicate and exquisitely made insect; its just a shame they are one of man's worst enemies! At least in this country we do not have to fear that they are carrying the dreaded malaria or, for the time being at least the zico virus.  
Culex pipiens: the common mosquito