Mosquitoes are a family of insects encompassing over 3,500 recognised species. Most are associated with warm and humid regions, although they can be found in cooler areas and even in snow. Most mosquito species feed on nectar, however, the females of some species drink blood for the nutrients they need to develop eggs. They inject saliva that contains an anti-coagulant to prevent their proboscis from getting clogged up. Mosquitoes transmit diseases such as malaria to many millions of people every year.
Scientific name: Culicidae
Living fly-paper tentacles deliver a sundew's meal.
Like an alluring octopus, the carnivorous sundew plant wraps its sticky tentacles around a mosquito that it has lured with its droplets of sweet-smelling stickiness. Then it turns the mosquito into a nitrogen-rich soup and sucks the miserable mozzy dry.
Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.
The mosquitoes are a family of small, midge-like flies: the Culicidae. Although a few species are harmless or even useful to humanity, most are considered a nuisance because they consume blood from living vertebrates, including humans. The females of many species of mosquitoes are blood-eating pests. In feeding on blood, some of them transmit extremely harmful human and livestock diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever and filariasis. Some authorities[weasel words] argue accordingly that mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals on Earth.
Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.
Some of the most memorable sequences in natural history result from timelapse photography, an astonishing filming technique that opens our eyes to a whole new world.
Watch the year's highlights from the BBC's exploration of the planet's hidden corners and rarest creatures: from the turquoise seas of the South Pacific to the Lost Land of the Volcano.
In autumn 2009, a major new series brought us life as we've never seen it before.
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