This 2006 photograph depicted a female Aedes aegypti mosquito as she was in the process of acquiring a blood meal from its human host, after having penetrated the skin surface with the sharply-pointed "fascicle". Normally, this female would be obtaining her blood from an unsuspecting host, but in this case, the CDC's biomedical photographer, James Gathany, had volunteered his own hand in order to entice the insect to alight, and feed. Note that her abdomen is beginning to fill with her blood meal, and will continue to fill, becoming distended as it appears in PHIL #8923, and how the proboscis' labial sheath was in its retracted, pulled back configuration, exposing the inserted, sharp fascicle, which had turned red, as the blood was passing up the straw-like needle-sharp apparatus.
CDC/ James Gathany
November 4, 2012
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