African Giant Mosquito

The African Giant Mosquito (Toxorhynchites brevipalpis) is a small insect from the Culicidae family of mosquitoes. It is also known as the Elephant Mosquito or the Mosquito Eater.

The African Giant Mosquito has a black body with white bands on its silvery-black legs. It has bushy antennae and compound eyes. It has a dark-coloured proboscis (long nose) for sucking sap from trees.

African Giant Mosquito

It measures about 2 centimetres (almost an inch) long, with a wingspan of 2.5 centimetres (1 inch). 

It is widespread across east Africa. It prefers tropical forests and jungles. 

The African Giant Mosquito does not eat blood. It eats honeydew or the sap and juices of plants and fruit. 

It is diurnal, active during the day. 

The female feeds on sap and plant juices. The female lays eggs near water, usually on a stagnant pool. The eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae eat other mosquito larvae, especially the larvae from blood-sucking mosquitoes. 

The African Giant Mosquito larvae form a casing called a pupal case. The adult mosquito emerges from the pupal case. The whole process is called metamorphosis (transformation). 

African Giant Mosquito
African Giant Mosquito

[Location of photograph: Nairobi, Kenya]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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