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 feed on plant nectar and do not bite humans or animals.
- Female mosquitoes require a blood meal to lay eggs and are the ones that bite humans and animals.
- Male and female mosquitoes have different physical characteristics, with the female being larger and having a proboscis adapted for biting.
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 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.
Male mosquitoes have small body structures and contain less hair on their antennae.
This mouthpart helps them hear the buzzing sound of their female counterparts so 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 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.
|Parameters of Comparison||Male Mosquitoes||Female Mosquitoes|
|Appearance||Male mosquitoes have more hair on their antennae than females. It helps them to hear sounds.||However, female mosquitoes have less hair on their antennae.|
|Size||Male mosquitoes are smaller in size than female mosquitoes.||On the other hand, female ones are bigger in size than male mosquitoes.|
|Longevity||They 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 Food||Male 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 diseases||Male ones cannot be held responsible for spreading deadly diseases like malaria and 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 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. Their life’s purpose solely revolves around finding water, food, shelter and a mate.
Since male mosquitoes are not bloodsuckers, they do not spread diseases through biting and avoid contact with human blood.
The proboscis has less hair on male mosquitoes and appears almost like a feather.
This enables their ability to hear and helps them 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 and 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 appearance 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. A female mosquito’s average life span is two to four weeks.
They are 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 only the females 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
- The male mosquitoes are smaller in size than the female mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes need a larger structure to carry their eggs carefully.
- 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.
- While male mosquitoes can mate many times, female mosquitoes can mate only once.
- The main source of nutrition for male mosquitoes are water and sweet fluids such as plant juices, but the females also feed on human blood.
- The males are harmless, whereas the female mosquitoes can spread deadly diseases through biting.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.