With a newly-obtained fiery red blood meal visible through her now transparent abdomen, the now heavy female Aedes aegypti mosquito takes flight as she leaves her host's skin surface. In this case, what would normally be an unsuspecting host was actually the CDC's biomedical photographer's own hand, which he'd offered to the hungry mosquito so that she'd alight, and be photographed while feeding. After having filled with blood, the abdomen became distended, stretching the exterior exoskeletal surface, causing it to become transparent, and allowed the collecting blood to become visible as an enlarging intra-abdominal red mass. The wings seem to be working overtime in order to keep her aloft.
CDC/ Prof. Frank Hadley Collins, Dir., Cntr. for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Univ. of Notre Dame
November 3, 2012
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