|Description:||This 2006 photograph depicted a female Aedes aegypti mosquito while she was in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host, who in this instance, was actually the biomedical photographer, James Gathany, here at the Centers for Disease Control. The feeding apparatus consisted of a sharp, orange-colored “fascicle” that was covered in a soft, pliant sheath called the "labellum” while not feeding. The labellum was shown here retracted as the sharp "stylets" contained within pierced the host's skin surface, thereby, allowing the insect to obtain its blood meal. The orange color of the fascicle was due to the red color of the blood as it migrated up the thin, sharp translucent tube. When viewed in cross-section, the larger of the two needle-sharp stylets, known as the "labrum", takes on the shape of an inverted "V", and acts as a gutter, which directs the ingested host blood towards the insect's mouth.|
As the primary vector responsible for the transmission of the Flavivirus Dengue (DF), and Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), the day-biting Aedes aegypti mosquito prefers to feed on its human hosts. Ae. aegypti also plays a major role as a vector for another Flavivirus, "Yellow fever". Frequently found in its tropical environs, the white banded markings on the tarsal segments of its jointed legs, though distinguishing it as Ae. aegypti, are similar to some other mosquito species. Also note the lyre-shaped, silvery-white markings on its thoracic region as well, which is also a determining morphologic identifying characteristic.
This female’s abdomen had become distended due to the blood meal she was ingesting, imparting the red coloration to her translucent abdominal exoskeleton.