Mosquito  
I was happily photographing some interesting bugs on my whitevine when this mosquito landed on my arm for a blood meal. Since I had the camera in my other hand, ready to go, I snapped some pictures before I squashed it.
mosquito biting my arm
Did you know that mosquitoes have scales? The next time you squash one, look at it under a magnifying glass. They have tiny claws too.
Their proboscis, the part that sticks in and sucks your blood, is sheathed, sort of like a straw in a wrapper. Look at the mosquito biting my arm with the blue background. See how the sheath curves back away from the proboscis?
mosquito with its proboscis unsheathed in a person
Mosquitoes are NOT my favorite bug. They bite, they leave me itchy, and they carry creepy diseases. It's difficult to squash them without mashing them too badly to photograph, and equally difficult to photograph them WHILE they're biting you. Actually, photographing them while they're biting me took some practice. I have this nagging feeling that I could do a better job, but I don't think I want to try any more in this particular case.
mosquito with its proboscis unsheathed in a person
squashed mosquito
mosquito wing scales
Here's a slightly squashed mosquito that took a brief sip of me. Note the exposed proboscis tip.
feeding mosquito
I itch from head to toe just looking at these pictures. Mosquito bites are not fun at all. I try not to kill most of the bugs I encounter, but I'll gladly make an exception for the mosquitoes that land on me. Here is one that it was extremely satisfying to squash! Pardon the blood. It was mine, the mosquito drank it, and then it sort of popped when I smacked it.
mosquito biting my arm
This is one of the few pages on my site that I hope I don't have an opportunity to take a better picture for.
not too squashed mosquito
feeding mosquito with a belly full of blood
belly-up mosquito just after I squashed it
mosquito biting my arm
very squashed mosquito and some human blood
mosquito taking a blood meal
Drat - I got an updated picture. Well, I itched, I glanced down, and how could I possibly not photograph THAT before I squashed it! Here's a mosquito bite on someone else:
mosquito full of blood biting my arm
itchy mosquito bite
Oops, I nearly forgot boy mosquitoes; this one is a male - they don't bite.
male mosquito
male mosquito
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