Ode to the Elephant Mosquito
Finally, a mosquito I can love
My husband (Calopteron on Flickr) photographs insects. These are not one-off, opportunistic photographs with an iPhone. No, he gets up close and personal and then magnifies.
Now, insects are not my favorite creatures on this earth, especially the ones I’ve encountered over my thirty years in northern Florida.
Mosquitoes in particular have been the bane of my existence since we moved to this swampy, humid part of the United States. You see, mosquitoes love me, or rather, they love my blood. My husband jokes that I am his mosquito repellent since they rarely bother him when I’m around.
Even when I use repellents with 99.9% DEET, mosquitoes swarm around me, trying to find that eighth-of-an-inch diameter of unprotected skin to attack. So how could I possibly love a mosquito?
Cue the Elephant Mosquito.
The Elephant Mosquito is thus called because of its long, trunk-like proboscis. But what made me come to love this giant of the mosquito world? Its nicknames: “mosquito-eater” and “cannibal mosquito.”
What’s not to love about a mosquito that eats other mosquitoes?
In fact, Elephant Mosquitoes feed on nectar, on the sugary, gooey sap from flowers and plants. Many thanks to Vector Disease Control International for that delicious information. I can’t possibly hate an insect that would prefer junk food over my blood.
May the Elephant Mosquito forever reign … hopefully close to my home where I am often beset by hordes of less worthy mosquitoes.