The commitment a mother bears her children, biological imperative though it may be, can produce some astounding behavior. Fathers, take note. Not one of the 3,000 known species of mosquitoes features a male willing to dine on blood for his kids.
In most species the female requires a meal of blood to aid in egg production, in addition to her usual diet of nectar.
To find victims, the mother-to-be follows cues like our body heat, moisture and carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, the carbon dioxide we exhale attracts the insect to our heads, where they fly around looking for a tasty spot.
The telltale buzz that precedes the poke of her proboscis is not some guttural pre-meal grace, but rather the high-pitched whine of rapidly-beating wings.