Common House Mosquito

Culex pipiens

''Culex pipiens'' is a species of blood-feeding mosquito of the family Culicidae. It is a vector of some diseases, such as Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, and urticaria. In the US and parts of Europe, it can spread West Nile virus, and in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, it has been demonstrated to be a vector of Usutu virus.
Mosquito larvae and pupae lifecycle - extreme macro, Heesch, Netherlands Here's a prime example of a pretty bad idea achieving a goal I didn't even know I had. Or let's just call it luck.

In another post, Christine encouraged me to look for mosquito eggs/larvae in still waters. So I took the lazy approach, one of my two small ponds in the garden is in the shade and wind-free, and I actually found some there. 

I just poured some of them into a glass. That was the easy part. Next, extreme macro poses a huge challenge here since the water moves, subjects move, which again causes the water to move. Surely the scene isn't static enough to do a deep stack, which typically takes at least 5 minutes to run and require the subject to not even move by 1 mm, or even 0.1mm.

Out of desperation to at least capture something, I went for it anyway, and the outcome I think is pretty hilarious. To describe what's going on:

- There's 3 larvae in the scene. One is in the bottom half of the image swimming around, the stack process creating multiple exposures of its movement.

- The other 2 larvae are attached to the water surface. They use siphon tubes to breath, hanging upside down. You can see the multiple exposures hinting at their movement when attached.

- There's 1.5 pupae in the scene, the big creature hanging upside down. In this phase it doesn't feed yet it's not immobile. When disturbing the water, it instantly sinks to the bottom. And back up again when it's safe.

- In the top right is a single water flea interacting with a mosquito larva.

This entire scene is just about 1cm wide, a tiny section of a glass. As a casual observation, in the few hours I was busy with this glass, 3 pupae transformed into adults and flew away. 

More to come later :) Culex pipiens,Extreme Macro,The Netherlands


Body length varies from three to seven millimeters.
Culex pipiens - pupa 2, Heesch, Netherlands After my lucky 2.5:1 experiment found here:
...I figured to keep pushing my luck and try a bigger magnification (4x) as well as stronger direct lighting. With a relatively static pupa taking up more of the image, there's less space for its chaotic surroundings. Due to movement in the water itself, the first 2 attempts failed, as the pupa also moved. This is the 3rd try, which I find acceptably sharp given difficult conditions. 

All 3 images are derived from the same single image, just different rotations, crop and post processing in an attempt to show detail in different ways. Culex pipiens,Extreme Macro


''Culex pipiens molestus'' lives in the London Underground and other underground railways. The more common ''Culex pipiens'' subspecies observed above ground is sometimes referred to as ''Culex pipiens pipiens''.
Culex pipiens Made with a reversed 20mm lens. Culex pipiens,Geotagged,Netherlands,Spring


It occurs in the following countries: Argentina, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea , Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, the Netherlands and Montenegro.''Culex pipiens'' can be a vector of many diseases that are transmitted to hosts when the mosquito bites them. It has been found that by using the ''Wolbachia'' infection to intentionally infect this species, their reproduction can be suppressed by inserting genes through the infection that restrict their ability to reproduce. This has also proved successful in the related ''Aedes albopictus'' species, also known as the Asian Tiger mosquito.
Mosquito siphon tubes - extreme macro, Heesch, Netherlands To complete this little series of documenting parts of the life cycle of a mosquito...
...this image shows the siphon tubes that larvae use to breath whilst they hang upside down, show in the first image above. I was hoping to capture a good still with a larva still attached, but failed to do this, they simply move too much for stacking.

I suppose these are all past usage, of larvae that have now turned into pupae already. You can still see pieces of skin attached, as per my understand they shed skin 4 times before turning into pupae. This would explain the incredible size difference between these little worms.
 Common House Mosquito,Culex pipiens,Extreme Macro


Both males and females feed on various sugar sources, such as nectar, honeydew and juices from fruits.

Only females feed on blood, and will do so preferentially, over sugar, when they have mated. Blood provides proteins essential to the development of their eggs. Their primary blood meal hosts are considered to be birds, but they will feed on humans and other mammals.


Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

SpeciesC. pipiens