Stiletto : 2012

Photograph by

Volker Brinkmann

About this image

Coloured scanning electron micrograph of the proboscis of a mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. At upper left is the outer sheath, or labium, enclosing the tip of the stylet (green). The stylet is made of the maxillae and mandibles, and is used to pierce the skin of the host animal to find and penetrate a blood vessel. The blood that escapes is sucked up through the labium. In mosquito species, such as the A. gambiae, the labium is relatively long and forms a proboscis. The section of stylet seen here is about 0.2mm long. This image was created in monochrome then digitally colourised. Max-Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany