How to Identify Red Mosquitoes

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Mosquitoes are winged insects belonging to the species Diptera. They have four legs and wings with scales. Generally speaking, mosquitoes are a nuisance. Their presence interferes with every aspect of life for humanity. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases while the harmless ones just spoil the fun by buzzing about your ears. There are more than 2,500 species of mosquitoes in the world and one of these is the red mosquito. Identifying the red mosquito is a simple process.

Things You'll Need

  • Mosquito identification keys
  • Compound microscopes
  • Dinner plate
  • Baby oil
  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Coat the dinner plate with a thin layer of baby oil. This is your home-made red mosquito trap. There are commercially available mosquito traps which can be used without affecting the outcome of this process.

  • Go into the area with plenty of mosquitoes and wave the plate around several times. Mosquitoes will stick on the plate. Wait for them to die.

  • Pick the dead mosquitoes from the plate and put them in a glass jar. The glass jar helps hold the specimen in place for easy observation of physically visible characteristics of the mosquito.

  • Take a sample of the mosquitoes from the glass jar and observe them with the naked eye. Look for any banding on the abdomen or on the legs. Record your observation in the notebook.

  • Take another sample of the suspected red mosquito specimen and place under the microscope. Observe its thorax characteristics for any bristles, color and scales, among others. Record the observations made.

  • While the specimen is still under the microscope, observe the wing structure and its colors. Note any special features like wing color, texture and pattern of the wing scales. Record the observations made.

  • Match the observations recorded in the notebook against the characteristics found in the mosquito identification keys. If your recorded observations match with the characteristics listed under red mosquito then the identification is positive.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not apply any mosquito repellants immediately preceding the step to catch mosquitoes. They will all avoid you and your trap.

References

  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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