Difference Between Male and Female Mosquitoes (With Table)

Mosquitoes, the most dangerous insect in the world, can transmit harmful diseases through biting, and their sex plays a very significant role in determining that behaviour. There are two types of mosquitoes such as male and female, but only females can be blamed for spreading deadly diseases like dengue and malaria.

Male Mosquitoes vs Female Mosquitoes

The difference between male and female mosquitoes is that only female mosquitoes can bite and spread diseases, whereas male ones cannot bite. The reason behind why does mosquitoes bite is that they require the blood of humans and other animals so that they can lay eggs. By appearance, one can easily differentiate between a male and a female mosquito as male ones are bushier than female mosquitoes.

The male mosquitoes have small body structures and contain less hair on their antennae. This mouthpart helps them to hear the buzzing sound of their female counterparts so that they can easily attract them for mating. They avoid human contact as they do not require human blood for their nutrition. As a result, they cannot spread deadly diseases among humans.

 The female mosquitoes are usually large in size and make an annoying buzzing sound that irritates everyone. The average life span of female mosquitoes varies from two to four weeks. It is only through the biting of a female mosquito that we contract diseases like malaria, encephalitis and yellow fever. Thus they are always on the hunt for human blood.

Comparison Table Between Male and Female Mosquitoes

Parameters of ComparisonMale MosquitoesFemale Mosquitoes
AppearanceMale mosquitoes have more hair on their antennae than females. It helps them to hear sounds.However, female mosquitoes have less hair on their antennae.
SizeMale mosquitoes are usually smaller in size than female mosquitoes.On the other hand, female ones are bigger in size than male mosquitoes.
LongevityThey usually live from one to two weeks and focus solely on finding food, shelter and a mate.Compared to male mosquitoes, female ones live longer than them. The average lifespan of female mosquitoes varies from two to four weeks.        
Sources of FoodMale mosquitoes feed on water and plant nectar.Though female mosquitoes suck the blood of humans and other animals, they also feed on plant juices.
Transmitting diseasesMale ones cannot be held responsible for spreading deadly diseases like malaria, dengue as they do not feed on human blood.It is only the female mosquitoes that suck human and animal blood and spread harmful diseases.

What are Male Mosquitoes?

The only good news about a male mosquito is that it does not bite and transmit diseases. In order to survive, they feed on sugar that they get from plant juices such as nectar, honeydew etc. Male mosquitoes are usually larger in size than their female counterparts. Though both male and female mosquitoes contain a mouthpart called a proboscis, these are wider, branched and hairy on males.

The life span of a male mosquito is really short as they only get to live for one to two weeks. Their behavioural aspects also differ from their female counterparts. They only feed on sugary fluids such as plant juices and flower nectar. The purpose of their life solely revolves around finding water, food, shelter and a mate. Since the male mosquitoes are not bloodsuckers, they do not spread diseases through biting and avoid contact with human blood.

On male mosquitoes, the proboscis has less hair and appears almost like a feather. This not only enables their capability of hearing but also helps them to find out their potential mating partners by detecting the beating sound of their wings. Since they do not suck blood, it can be said that they are harmless and cannot spread diseases like dengue, malaria, encephalitis and yellow fever. They can even survive in a captivated place if they are provided with the right temperature, proper humidity in the air and the sources of nutrition are not stopped.

What are Female Mosquitoes?

Though it is difficult to distinguish between a male and a female mosquito by only looking at them with the naked eye, the physical appearances of the proboscis can make all the difference. The proboscis of females is smoother and appears like a needle as they penetrate their sting to suck blood. The average life span of a female mosquito is for two to four weeks. They are usually bigger in size than their male counterparts as they need a larger structure to carry eggs.

The role of female mosquitoes in nourishing, fertilizing and laying eggs is crucial to the existence of their whole species. But it is only the females who feed on human blood and spread harmful diseases among humans. Unlike male mosquitoes, the buzzing sound of females is higher as their wings beat 500 times a second. In response to mosquito repellents, female mosquitoes are likely to take off, whereas male ones can survive for a longer time.

Main Differences Between Male and Female Mosquitoes

  1. The male mosquitoes are usually smaller in size than the female mosquitoes. The female mosquitoes need a larger structure to carefully carry their eggs.
  2. Females tend to live longer than male mosquitoes. Whereas the female mosquitoes live for four weeks maximum, the male mosquitoes can only live up to two weeks.
  3. While the male mosquitoes can mate many times, the female mosquitoes can mate only once.
  4. The main source of nutrition of male mosquitoes are water, sweet fluids such as plant juices, but the females also feed on human blood.
  5. The males are harmless, whereas the female mosquitoes can spread deadly diseases through biting.

Conclusion

Though it is not possible to detect the gender of mosquitoes just by giving a glance at them, their physical appearances, behavioural aspects, and different food choices help to distinguish them. The main responsibility of male mosquitoes is to gather food, look for water and shelter, whereas females focus on their survival through reproduction in order to save their species.

However, the females perform a more complicated and crucial role of responsibilities than the males. Many types of male and female mosquitoes have been discovered in recent years where there is a kind of female mosquito that do not feed on human flood but survive on sugary fluids like their male counterparts

References

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.2019
  2. https://journals.biologists.com/jeb/article-abstract/214/7/1163/33572

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