Yellow Fever Mosquito

Mosquitoes love me; I loathe mosquitoes. I don’t get a lot of photos of them, because if I venture out of my house I must be coated in an inch-thick layer of DEET to repel them. I try to maintain an indifferent, if not affectionate, attitude toward bothersome, scary, or venomous species, but — and I’m terribly sorry — I hate, hate, hate mosquitoes.

This male Aedes aegypti, harmless to me (only female mosquitoes bite), was hanging out on my front door, waiting for the swarm of females also hanging out on my front door to get interested. Those big, poofy antennae help him track the ladies down. He didn’t move for two photos; in return, I did not swat him.

I wish his girlfriends weren’t such terrible houseguests, because he’s honestly rather cute. A. aegypti differs from its near cousin, the more famous A. albopictus, or Asian tiger mosquito, in that albopictus has a single white line down its back and aegypti has a “lyre” made of four white lines. Both species are vectors for a lot of exciting and unpleasant diseases, and the females just love, love, love, love me. (*sigh*)

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