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. As it would fill with blood, the abdomen would become distended, thereby, stretching the exterior exoskeletal surface, thereby, causing it to become transparent, and allowing the collecting blood to become visible as an enlarging red mass. See PHIL # #8923, for this mosquito's appearance in its abdominally-distended state. Note the positioning of the head, and legs, which are closer to the host skin surface, as blood is about to be ingested through the fascicle.
CDC/ James Gathany
November 4, 2012
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