Male Mosquito

Male Mosquito

PDF Week 15/2016: Canon 7D, 100mm, 1/250, f25, ISO 100, external flash.

Ever since the outbreak of the ZIKA virus, mosquitos stand on my list to photograph. It is a challenge. They are not exactly rare animals around here. But how do you take photographs?

Quite obviously they are small and fine creatures. Macro photography is difficult at the best of times. My only model that would put health and safetly on the stand for my photography is actually myself.

Mosquitos like me but they don't care about my ambition. They willingly accepted my blood donation on my first try, leaving behind a nasty itch but not even trace of a usable frame. Surely, my body distortions trying to make arms and hands meet were funny to watch; holding still to bribe the sample with my blood, aiming a flash and my camera at short distance. It simply did not work.

Shall I really move to the dark side and cheat with my photography? Should I put some of my blood into a container? Shall I put the animal in the fridge for a while (what an odd thought)? And would that guarantee a good photo? I decided that it is simply not worth it.

Exhausted from this week's nature outing odyssee, ready for a well-deserved shower, food and re-hydration, I spotted a mosquito on our kitchen window curtain. The beautiful animal seemed to wait for a meal - a bit similar to me. Was that my opportunity?

While I got my camera and flash it didn't move. For quite some time, I assumed that it was actually dead and dried out. I don't know much about mosquito physiology. But the front legs tilted up simply look wrong to me. It held still for quite a while and only later flew off.

Did you know that male mosquitos don't bite but feed on pollen and nectar. Blood is only sucked by females who need it to breed their eggs. As you can see in the picture the antennae are lined with fine hairs, called antennal flagellum. It allows the males to hear the finest sounds - the lovely mosquito buzzing we all enjoy - extremely well.

With this photo, I would love to get people thinking about eradication programs. In times of Zika and other mosquito born diseases we often forget about the important functions such creatures have, next to being annoying and dangerous to our health. Lots of birds and other animal feed on them directly or indirectly.

Apart from that, I hope you enjoy a mosquito bite free weekend!

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