The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a mosquito is a BLOOD SUCKING insect.... BUT....



What does Anopheles earlei really eat?


 The food that is taken in by A. earlei is dependent on the stage in its life.



  -Live on the water surface and feed by collection filtering which

    means that the larvae filters out the particles it deems good enough to eat!


                                    ● algae

                                    ● bacteria

                                    ● other microorganisms



 -Do not eat!





 -Adults get food by using the specialized structure called the elongate which is a forward projecting



There are three specific modes of feeding that the mosquito uses.  In each of these methods mutualist bacteria in the gut help with the processing this food!

                                 1.Water ingestion-

                                       A small volume of edible material is taken in and is 

                                       passed to the midgut (where nutrients are absorbed).


                                 2.Nectar feeding-

                                       A large volume of plant juice is passed into crop where it can

                                       be passed slowly into midgut to allow for delayed nutrient uptake.


                                         3. Blood feeding-(Females only)-

                                       Blood is passed into midgut where it is used as both an energy source and for

                                       production of eggs.  Anopheles earlei  will acquire blood from both humans

                                       (anthropophily) or animals (zoophily).



                                        MALE  -Feed on:


 ● plant juices- mainly floral nectar

 ● other sources of sugar


  Especially attracted to honeydew!





  -Feed on:

 ● plant sugar

 ● require a BLOOD MEAL for the development of eggs


Both larvae and adults have a complete digestive and circulatory (open) system so the nutrients that are obtained will be dispersed using these systems.  Food is stored by the larvae mainly in the fat body, which is a sheet of cells throughout the thorax and abdomen.  Adults also keep lipid and glycogen stores in the fat body.  The flight muscles also store glycogen to be broken down quickly for energy in flight.


Anopheles earlei is a very aggressive species in regards to biting and will enter homes to bite.  A female will commonly ingest more than her own weight in blood!


This mosquito does not have a host organism but rather lives independently.  However, as discussed, each female mosquito must acquire a blood meal before being able to lay her eggs.  An organism that has blood must be used for this meal.  While the mosquito does not serve as a long term host for any organism, it is used as a vector for many viral, bacterial, and other diseases. 





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