This 2006 image depicted a female Aedes aegypti as she was about to fly off of a host's skin surface after having obtained her blood-meal. 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. As it filled with blood, the abdomen became distended, stretching the exterior exoskeletal surface, thereby, causing it to become transparent, allowing the collecting blood to become visible as an enlarging intra-abdominal red mass. The tip of the sharply-pointed fascicle is visible as a yellow tube, which is about to become concealed inside the labium of her proboscis.
CDC/ Prof. Frank Hadley Collins, Dir., Cntr. for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Univ. of Notre Dame
November 3, 2012
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