Psychedelic skeeter

September 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I have to admit something scandalous: in the 1960s, not only did I inhale, but I also ingested... OK, truthfulness time, I had a definitive love for hallucinogens, LSD in particular. But the foray into psychedelia was short-lived, and I haven't touched a controlled substance, or even a medically-mandated one, in close to 50 years. However, when I spotted this huge and colored-by-Peter-Max mosquito on the Hydrangea flowers as I paused on a walk around the yard, I thought that I just might be having a 60s flashback. I'd never seen a mosquito quite so large and gorgeous, and I had a hard time believing that it was genuine, instead of some dredged-up figment of my imagination. Oh me of little faith... This is the real deal, an insect known as the Elephant Mosquito, a.k.a., Toxorhynchites rutilis. It's a truly amazing creature and, happily for we human mortals, a mosquito that doesn't bite. T. rutilis is happy living off of flower nectar, and its young often live in tree holes and water-filled containers where the kids prey on other mosquitoes. These Elephants are entirely benign, unless, of course, you're one of those other species. Would that we could encourage T. rutilis to teach fellow members of the mosquito family how to behave.


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