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The mouthparts were highly mobile within the skin during the probing
August 6, 2013 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Here's what happens inside you when a mosquito bites (with videos for your everlasting horror).
posted by jamaro (57 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
The more you know ===☆
posted by m@f at 6:17 PM on August 6, 2013 [13 favorites]


Just when I thought I couldn't hate the little fuckers any more, I learn that they have mouthparts.

Even the word itself makes me itch. Gah.
posted by dr. boludo at 6:21 PM on August 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


I thought it was like this.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:22 PM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


NOPE I AM GOING TO GO AND SHOOT MYSELF INTO THE SUN NOW
posted by lineofsight at 6:26 PM on August 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


The thing splits into two things. GAH!

I wonder if that gets stuck in you if you swat the thing while it's feeding, if it just subsequently gets absorbed into your body, and how many mosquito mouthparts my body has absorbed. I also fervently wish I didn't wonder that just now.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:26 PM on August 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


NOPE I AM GOING TO GO AND SHOOT MYSELF INTO THE SUN NOW

I guess you haven't heard about the sun mosquitos
posted by louche mustachio at 6:27 PM on August 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


This is the only video you need to watch w/r/t cousin mosquito.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:28 PM on August 6, 2013


The mosquito starts salivating as soon as it probes the ... skin, releasing substances that prevent blood vessels from constricting, stop blood from clotting, and prevent inflammation.

I think it's fascinating how, no matter what, it's basically that skeeters ARE gonna eat, and the parasites ARE gonna reproduce, dammit, and you're IT, so shut up, mammal!

And while the methods are admittedly gross, wow, discovering what compounds cause these events to occur could be tremendous for medical purposes, especially in creating more applications that could stop blood from clotting or the constriction that happens with migraines. Even the method is worthy of learning more about. Who knew about the bending?

Anyway, I hope the Pasteur Institute gets their grant.
posted by droplet at 6:30 PM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


The most satisfying thing is smashing them right after they've bitten you and smearing your own reclaimed blood across the wall.

[MUFFLED IMMIGRANT SONG SCREAMING IN THE DISTANCE]
posted by elizardbits at 6:37 PM on August 6, 2013 [16 favorites]


And while the methods are admittedly gross, wow, discovering what compounds cause these events to occur could be tremendous for medical purposes, especially in creating more applications that could stop blood from clotting or the constriction that happens with migraines.

That's how we came back around to leeches.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:38 PM on August 6, 2013


If wearing a leech on my head for a few hours every day would mean I never got a migraine again for the rest of my life OH MY GOD I WOULD COVER MY FACE WITH LEECHES.

but like small tasteful ones
posted by elizardbits at 6:45 PM on August 6, 2013 [15 favorites]


My body itches now.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:46 PM on August 6, 2013


6 Users have marked this as a favourite?
posted by marienbad at 6:50 PM on August 6, 2013


Oh, here's another good mosquito video.
posted by orme at 6:53 PM on August 6, 2013


No no no. This is a scene cut from Alien.
posted by hot_monster at 6:54 PM on August 6, 2013


Yeah, this makes me itch in places I'll never, ever be able to scratch. Thanks.
posted by nevercalm at 6:55 PM on August 6, 2013


The most satisfying thing is smashing them right after they've bitten you and smearing your own reclaimed blood across the wall.

I imagine most of it's not yours. Nor perhaps even human. New York has a lot of rats, doesn't it?
posted by indubitable at 7:03 PM on August 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


Here is an awesome movie demonstrating the lifecycle of malaria made by mefi's own Drew Barry that could be improved by this. (part 2)
posted by Blasdelb at 7:07 PM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, this reminds me of how much satisfaction I have gained from my ownership of one of these
posted by Blasdelb at 7:08 PM on August 6, 2013


Note to self: do not drop acid and talk to indubitable.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:09 PM on August 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


For a start, look how flexible the mouthparts are! The tip can almost bend at right angles, and probes between the mouse’s cells in a truly sinister way.

oh god. why did I click.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 7:16 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes, the mouthparts are also themselves home to small parasites with the disturbing name of Insectoid Mandibular Hookworms. These little suckers do not feed on the mosquitos themselves, but rather detach and swim away to breed inside the bloodstreams of the mosquitos victims, sometimes growing up to a foot in length before burrowing out into the host's meat.*






*What? This isn't the micro horror fiction thread? Oh. Never mind.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:34 PM on August 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Turns out flesh is a lot like tapioca up close.

Good night.
posted by lucidium at 7:37 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, the videos were fine. It was the text explaining what the videos were showing that made me want to hurl.
posted by looli at 7:37 PM on August 6, 2013


I'm truly impressed, mosquitoes, and every time now that I squash you I'll rue - a little - the fact that I'm destroying such an amazingly sophisticated product of evolution.
Actually, I've pretty much made my peace with mosquitoes - anybody who spends much time in the bush in Canada has to, or else you'd go crazy. As long as they're not in Hudson Bay lowlands quantities, they're an annoyance. I'm grateful that they're dumb and predictable, and squishy and easy to kill, unlike e.g. the truly evil moosefly.
posted by Flashman at 7:40 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: the mouthparts were highly mobile
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:59 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


We live in a campground next to a mostly stagnant body of water. It's been rainy and humid. I've probably killed 100 mosquitos in the past three days. My body is covered in bites (including between my toes, which is just as awful as it sounds). No way am I clicking on that link.
posted by desjardins at 8:00 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pull out, Betty!
posted by cenoxo at 8:01 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


That cartoon reminds me of that summer camp tale about how you could pull the skin taught around a mosquito while it was sucking your blood and it wouldn't be able to pull out and therefore would have no choice but to explode in an explosion of your blood.
Never worked for me, after countless attempts to do the 'trick', and now the science - showing a lithe, slippery probe - appears to support my negative results.
posted by Flashman at 8:20 PM on August 6, 2013


The little fuckers love me, ignore the rest of my family. I will be civered in ugly red welts and they won't have a single bite. THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD.
posted by Artw at 8:37 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Argh. Fuck those little bastards.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:47 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh god. why did I click.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm not clicking.
posted by cashman at 8:48 PM on August 6, 2013


They will "click" you.
posted by Artw at 8:54 PM on August 6, 2013


Mosquitoes? Leeches? Pah!

Tapeworms.

Those things give me the horrors.

*shudders*

encysted in your brain
posted by BlueHorse at 9:32 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Flashman: "That cartoon reminds me of that summer camp tale about how you could pull the skin taught around a mosquito while it was sucking your blood and it wouldn't be able to pull out and therefore would have no choice but to explode in an explosion of your blood. Never worked for me, after countless attempts to do the 'trick', and now the science - showing a lithe, slippery probe - appears to support my negative results."

The version I had heard, and which I vaguely remember working, was that if you get a mosquito to bite you on the bicep muscle, flex that muscle, keep it flexed, and it won't be able to pull out, while autopilot sucking more and more blood in until... >>POP!<<. If you are still at summer camp, try it and report back!
posted by not_on_display at 9:41 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


A fascinating book, and one without too many squicky pictures (the text is sufficient) is Parasite Rex, by Carl Zimmer. The evolutionary battles that have been raged, and the interesting biological outcomes make you walk away with a certain respect for parasites, however devilish they may be.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:48 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Most of my brain was very excited by that but there was still a voice inside my head yelling "AAAAAAAAAAH!"

The most satisfying thing is smashing them right after they've bitten you and smearing your own reclaimed blood across the wall.
Except for the part where they still gave you malaria

posted by gingerest at 10:23 PM on August 6, 2013


    _   ______  ____  ______   _   ______  ____  ______   _   ______  ____  ______
   / | / / __ \/ __ \/ ____/  / | / / __ \/ __ \/ ____/  / | / / __ \/ __ \/ ____/
  /  |/ / / / / /_/ / __/    /  |/ / / / / /_/ / __/    /  |/ / / / / /_/ / __/   
 / /|  / /_/ / ____/ /___   / /|  / /_/ / ____/ /___   / /|  / /_/ / ____/ /___   
/_/ |_/\____/_/   /_____/  /_/ |_/\____/_/   /_____/  /_/ |_/\____/_/   /_____/   
                                                                                  

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:35 PM on August 6, 2013 [17 favorites]


> if it just subsequently gets absorbed into your body, and how many mosquito mouthparts my body has absorbed

Ah, the ancient chitin-keratin cycle that keeps the biosphere in homeostasis.
posted by planetesimal at 10:44 PM on August 6, 2013


I remember back when I was in my early teens. I felt this mama mosquito setting up her banquet fest on one of my forearms. I calmly sat and observed it while it grew engorged from taking in my blood. The thing got vastly larger, and, once it finished up, it took to flight with its new bounty clearly weighing it down. The thing could barely lift off! It was so horribly sluggish, although it was very slowly gaining altitude, that I was easily able to target it and squash it between my two palms. It left a huge circle of blood on each of my palms that was about the diameter of a US quarter coin. I was quite pleased that I was able to exact revenge on the little fucker.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:46 PM on August 6, 2013


This mysterious brain-eating amoeba is the stuff of nightmares
posted by Artw at 10:57 PM on August 6, 2013


Artw: "This mysterious brain-eating amoeba is the stuff of nightmares"

why

why do you do this

why Artw

posted by subbes at 11:28 PM on August 6, 2013


I lick the cat a lot.
posted by Artw at 11:28 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Draw your Neti pot water from the cat bath runoff, eh?
posted by planetesimal at 11:33 PM on August 6, 2013


KITTIES R GUD YOO SHUD ALL GET KITTIES
posted by Artw at 11:38 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


louche mustachio: "I guess you haven't heard about the sun mosquitos"

Not to mention the sun spiders.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:50 PM on August 6, 2013


1 result for "Insectoid Mandibular Hookworms" (0.15 seconds)
- Metafilter: The mouthparts were highly mobiil...

Oh thank god.
posted by foobaz at 11:53 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


desjardins: We live in a campground next to a mostly stagnant body of water. It's been rainy and humid. I've probably killed 100 mosquitos in the past three days. My body is covered in bites (including between my toes, which is just as awful as it sounds). No way am I clicking on that link.

Reading this brought back a long-suppressed memory from a childhood vacation—a week in a cabin by a lake in Wisconsin. I was sitting on the porch with my younger brother and we were counting the mosquito bites on our short little-kid legs. I had to help him because he hadn't yet learned to count past the teens.

I'm not clicking on that link, either.
posted by she's not there at 1:00 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


"From afar, a mosquito’s snout might look like a single tube"

How good does the article author think my eyesight is?

This video is pretty cool, I think. Then again, I don't live somewhere where there are mosquitos, which probably helps with that assessment. Evolution is a weird and curious thing.

For the squeamish, only the third video down shows the mosquito actually managing to suck any blood.
posted by Solomon at 2:08 AM on August 7, 2013


6 Users have marked this as a favourite?

22 when I clicked the +, and now 23. This is incredibly fascinating, and I say that as someone who has actually had malaria and whom mosquitoes appear to consider a royal delicacy at the best of times. That what I considered to be a proboscis is in fact a finely controlled multitubal apparatus explains much about the overwhelming evolutionary success of the mosquito and the consequent devastating prevalence of its carried entities. This is awesome.
posted by Errant at 2:11 AM on August 7, 2013


Nooooo thanks. I saw a model of a mosquito at the Museum of Natural History in NYC once that was the size of a dinner plate. That was more than enough for me.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:53 AM on August 7, 2013


When I'm with my wife's side of the family I'm the one that attracts all the mosquitoes. My FIL doesn't even bother with bug spray while I still get bites after bathing myself in the stuff.

What's worse, their bites stop itching really fast, sometimes within hours while mine turn into big, angry welts that still itch like mad days and days later. I had a particular grouping around my ankle that had me considering hacking my leg off at the knee.

I hate mosquitoes so very much.
posted by VTX at 6:29 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


thank god i dont have mouse flesh on me.

Those poor little suckers.

The video of mosquitos trying to probe me is on the epic fail website.

The probes go in to the wrinkle but never hit bottom.

Yeah who's laughing now all you young guns with your justin bieber skin?
posted by Colonel Panic at 12:31 PM on August 7, 2013


...a model of a mosquito at the Museum of Natural History in NYC once that was the size of a dinner plate.

That would be this this little girl (or one of her sisters). Countermeasures are available, however.
posted by cenoxo at 7:41 PM on August 7, 2013


In one evening in Costa Rica I received over 100 mosquito bites almost exclusively on my legs and feet (I stopped counting at 100). Bites on top of bites. Trails and mountains of bites. A landscape of bites. The appearance and feeling of my own legs became alien to me. It was also 90 degrees in 90% humidity, with no AC. It wasn't just itchy, it was painful. It was torture to resist the itch of the inflamed, sweaty, red welts as the sandy, salty, ocean air blew under the scorching sun. Months later I still have light scarring from the event.
posted by Sprocket at 7:54 PM on August 7, 2013


That cartoon reminds me of that summer camp tale about how you could pull the skin taught around a mosquito while it was sucking your blood and it wouldn't be able to pull out and therefore would have no choice but to explode in an explosion of your blood.

I'm fairly certain this is an urban myth started by mosquitoes themselves.
posted by looli at 9:09 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like lying down in front of the brown bear cf Eugene Mirman
posted by lordaych at 9:19 AM on August 11, 2013


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