Asked by 226heaa32 to Mel on 24 Sep 2014.
    • Photo: Melissa Kapulu

      Melissa Kapulu answered on 24 Sep 2014:

      @226heaa32 cool and clever important question.

      It is easier to identify males from females under what is called a magnifying microscope. But with a lot of experience in handling and dealing with mosquitoes one can identify them by eye even if they are on a wall.

      Mosquitoes have protrusions which are the main distinguishing features. These are basically antenna and protrude from the head region. Males usually have more antennas than females (usually 3 in males and 2 in females). And the ones on males have more “hairs” than those on females. This is a very big distinguishing feature. And the reason why males have more antenna and hairs than females is that they use these to “sense” or find where the females are. Think of it as very important tool in attracting females.

      Another thing I have found observed is that the males are usually smaller than the females. BUT the main identification between a male and female mosquito is the number and presence of the antennae.

      You can liken this distinguishing feature in nature to for example peacocks. Male peacocks are brightly coloured and it is this feature the use to entice female peacocks for mating purposes. Are you able to think of any examples of distinguishing features between males and females which aid reproduction?