Beautiful mozzies

You know, I hate mosquitoes (mozzies, skeeters, and my latest, mozzers).  I’m terribly allergic to them and sometimes their bites result in lumps the size of goose eggs under my skin, hot enough to melt ice cubes rapidly.  It’s an asymmetric hatred though; boy do they LOVE me.  Must be something in the way I smell, but no matter my diet I am always the first to get bitten.

However, when a paper came out a couple of years ago saying that mosquitoes serve no ecological role, I was infuriated.  What a naive perspective.  Just because we don’t always know their role does not mean they don’t have one.  Can you imagine the consequences of eradicating mosquitoes?  Neither can I…we know far too little about the structure of ecosystems and the fragility of their food webs to make a claim like that.

I make an effort to understand things that I fear.  I spent time studying the life cycle of mosquitoes, learning about the horrible whining drone, the females that bite, the eggs that depend on the blood.

And I try to appreciate the beauty in all things (even the deadliest disease vector known to man).  For mosquitoes, it is difficult for me to dissociate their physical appearance from the itching lumpy mess I become in summer, but there are some species that are quite beautiful, even to me.  So I’m sitting here trying not to scratch and trying quite hard to appreciate mozzers.

Photo by Sean McCann

Sabethes mosquito from French Guiana, Photo by Sean McCann

Toxorhynchites spp, photo by Narelle Power

Toxorhynchites spp, photo by Narelle Power

Photo by Noel Young

Photo by Noel Young

Photo by K. Beck

Photo by K. Beck

Photo by John Cogan

Photo by John Cogan

Photo by TonkIta2

Photo by TonkIta2

Photo by N1konShooter

Photo by N1konShooter

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9 thoughts on “Beautiful mozzies

  1. “Just because we don’t always know their role does not mean they don’t have one.” That’s a good point. We don’t know what impact their absence may have on our planet. We also don’t know what impact the methods we use to eradicate them may have.

  2. I totally understand the whole food web dealio and could see other species that surely need them for food like birds, bats and amphibians. HOWEVER, where on earth do these stupid things NOT exist? I’m moving there! Don’t say Antarctica. .. You said Antarctica didn’t you? Ugh.

  3. Pingback: Sunset in a swamp | standingoutinmyfield

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