Mosquito

Article

May 23, 2022

Mosquito (also called mosquito[1]) is the generic term used to designate the members of several families of insects of the order of Diptera and in particular of the suborder of Nematocera; in its strictest use "mosquito" refers only to the members of the culicidae family. Like the other holometabolous insects, mosquitoes have four developmental stages in their lives: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. They need water to complete their life cycles, because the larvae are aquatic.

Taxa

Some of the main families of Diptera commonly called mosquitoes are: Culicidae (Culicidae): the true mosquitoes. The females are hematophagous (they feed on the blood of other animals), and for this reason they are frequent vectors of infectious diseases. The males do not feed on blood and, exceptionally, the females of the genus Toxorhynchites do not eat blood either and their larvae are predators of other mosquito larvae. Psicódidae (Psychodidae), especially the Phlebotominae subfamily, similar to Culicidae, but smaller, whose females are also hematophagous and transmit leishmaniasis. Chironomids (Chironomidae): they resemble the previous ones, but they do not feed on blood. Tipulids (Tipulidae): known as crane flies or giant mosquitoes, they can reach a wingspan of 7.5 cm; They are also not hematophagous. Various families of the infraorder Bibionomorpha.

Background

The term mosquito is currently used in almost every country in the world. Its use is so widespread that even specialized magazines on different aspects of these organisms bear names such as Mosquito News and Mosquito Systematics, they speak of the "International Symposium on Mosquito Ecology". The universality of the name, surely of immediate Castilian or Portuguese origin, is due, however, to the adoption made by English and North American authors at the beginning of the 20th century. Christophers and other authors suggest that the term mosquito was introduced into Castilian around 1400 and that it probably derives from the Italian moschetto, a small arrow fired from a kind of crossbow. However, its origin is probably located in the Latin musca (fly). In Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras and Chile, the most used term is "zancudo"; It is probably more popular than mosquito and for many people it better defines this type of insect. Its etymology, according to Corominas, is very old and its roots are in the ancient Persian "zanga" which means leg. Later it is used as zanca in Latin to designate a certain type of footwear and then many terms associated with walking in water or taking long steps (stilts, strides) will derive. The immediate origin must have arisen from a double association with the one used for certain birds, the waders, and naturally with reference to the long legs and frequent contact with water. [who?] The presence of mosquitoes has obviously been recognized by all the inhabitants of the Earth, and in each language there is a more or less specific term to designate them. The oldest written references, those in which we can clearly recognize the actor, are probably those of Aristotle. Indeed, the famous Greek philosopher and naturalist cites them in both his Historia animalium and De generatione animalibus. In both works he refers to them by the name of empis and includes them among those beings that have a terrestrial and an aquatic phase of life and that also originated by spontaneous generation of putrefactive liquids. These ideas would prevail in Europe until recent times. After Aristotle there are other interesting writings such as those of Pliny Secundus (23-79 AD) who is amazed at the complexity and good functioning of the organs of a