Video: Mosquitoes are little bastards that do more killing, spread more disease and cause more annoyance than any other creature on Earth. That’s because they have a really sophisticated needle-like system for biting us to suck our blood. But exactly how they bite might surprise you.
It’s a gnarly process. The proboscis of the mosquitoes hides six parts: Two shafts with tiny teeth are used to saw through our skin, another two are used to hold the tissue apart, a sharp labrum shaft is used to probe for a blood vessel to suck blood from it and the final shaft is meant to drool saliva into us to keep our blood flowing. That’s six needle-like objects used to do the damn job of biting us.
That last part, the hypopharynx, with the saliva is the one that causes the itchiness and is the one that delivers deadly viruses and parasites like Zika and malaria.