Reconnaître un moustique

Mosquitoes are generally small insects, measuring between 3 and 10 mm.
The mosquito consists of a body, a pair of scaly wings, six legs, a pair of long antennae and an elongated proboscis.

Annotated mosquito

Their body is segmented into three parts: 

  • head
  • thorax  
  • abdomen

 

Mosquitoes can be distinguished from other insect species of similar size by the presence of :  

  • a long, protruding proboscis on males and females  
  • scales on thorax, legs, abdomen and wings. 

 

The colors and patterns of the scales on the thorax are often used as a guide in identifying different species of mosquito, such as the tiger mosquito, which has a characteristic white line on a black background. When a mosquito is at rest, the wings rest one on top of the other above the abdomen, like a pair of closed scissors.
The antennae are used to recognize the sex of the mosquito: males can be recognized by their feathery, fan-shaped antennae, while those of females have short hairs.

            
Antennes Aedes aegypti male
  Male Aedes aegypti
Antennes Aedes aegypti femelle
Female Aedes aegypti

The mosquito is often confused with other insects such as: non-biting midges (Chironomidae), cousins (Tipulidae) and common cave crane flies (Limoniidae). Another characteristic of the mosquito is that its wings are longer than its body, unlike the non-biting midge, for example.

Chironomidae
Chironomidae
limoniidae
Limoniidae
tipula
Tipulidae