This 2006 photograph depicted a female Aedes aegypti mosquito as she was in the process of obtaining a "blood meal", which normally is 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 having penetrated the skin surface with its sharply-pointed fascicle, the feeding mosquito was collecting its blood meal in its distended abdomen, evidenced by the red coloration visible through the stretching, translucent exoskeletal abdominal exterior. See PHIL # #8924, for this mosquito's appearance before the ingestion of its blood meal. If you look carefully, you can also see that the labium, which is the soft tissue sheath that envelopes the sharply-pointed fascicle, had slid up the fascicle, and took on a "kinked" configuration, pointing posteriorly.
CDC/ James Gathany
November 4, 2012
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