Biting behaviour of the mosquito

Female mosquitoes feed on blood to develop their eggs. This blood meal is often the result of multiple bites on one or more hosts. Some mosquitoes feed on blood from different species, while others have a preference for a specific type of Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed. . However, the majority of mosquitoes do not feed on human blood, but rather on animal blood, whether mammalian, amphibian or bird.

In addition to their preference for specific hosts, different species of mosquito also differ in the time of day they actively seek to feed. The common house mosquito (Culex pipiens) is mainly active in the evening and at night, while the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is active during the day (see table below). In addition, the place where they seek their meal can also differ; for example, the common house mosquito bites mainly indoors, while the tiger mosquito bites outdoors.
 

When searching for a blood meal, mosquitoes use these different signals to locate their Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed.

  1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by the Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed.  
  2. Visual signals
  3. Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed. -specific odors
  4. Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed. body heat and humidity

Moustique tigre

The mosquito's antennae play a crucial role, acting as an olfactory organ. They can detect carbon dioxide emitted during the Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed. 's respiration up to a distance of 50 meters. As the quantity of carbon dioxide emitted depends on the size of the Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed. , the mosquito is able to distinguish its Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed. preference from a distance. Once within ten meters of the Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed. , mosquitoes can also see it, and are attracted (or not) by its specific odors. Body heat and humidity are then detected by mosquitoes from a distance of 1 to 2 meters.

Some people are more often bitten by mosquitoes than others. This is due to the different bacteria present on the skin, the composition of which is specific to each individual. This bacterial flora transforms substances produced by the body into Metabolites Organic intermediate or by-product of metabolism. The human metabolites that attract mosquitoes are volatile components of sweat, such as ammonia, lactic acid and carboxylic acid. . The composition of these Metabolites Organic intermediate or by-product of metabolism. The human metabolites that attract mosquitoes are volatile components of sweat, such as ammonia, lactic acid and carboxylic acid. will therefore also differ according to the person, which is why mosquitoes are more attracted to some people than others.

Mosquitoes can adapt their behavior to certain factors, such as anti-mosquito measures. In such situations, mosquitoes may bite another Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed. or change their period of activity.

 

Table: Biting behavior of different mosquito species (non-exhaustive list).
Mosquito species Biting behaviour Main Host An organism that can carry a Pathogen Micro-organism capable of causing disease. . In the context of mosquito ecology, for example a human or animal host, this term refers to the organism from which the mosquito seeks to feed.
Place of activity Time of activity
Culex pipiens sensu lato Mainly indoors After sunset, at night Humans and other mammals, birds
Culiseta annulata Indoors and outdoors At night Humans and other mammals, birds
Aedes albopictus Mainly outdoors During the day, very active in the morning and at dusk Humans and other mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians
Aedes aegypti Mainly outdoors During the day, very active in the morning and afternoon Humans and sporadically domestic animals
Aedes japonicus Mainly outdoors Daytime, very active at dusk Humans and other mammals
Aedes koreicus Mainly outdoors Day and night Humans and other mammals
Anopheles plumbeus Outdoors Daytime, very active at dusk Humans and other mammals, birds and reptiles