Why do Mosquito's mostly attack lower legs and ankles?

  1. A friend of mine was talking about Mozzee's stinging proweress :eek: , and how come the Mosquito mostly attack ankles or lower legs?

    Does anyone know if there is creedence to this fact?

    He came to the conclusion (based only on what he had seen and experienced first hand), that the skin in the lower part of the body somehow was 'less-tough' than the upper body skin thickness?

    I gave him an answer, as a calculated guess, which seemed to amaze him and to ask even more, dare I say it, Philosophical questions on Mosquito intelligence!..honestly this was a serious debate, and hopefully there will be someone out there who can give a better reason to the original question?..before I give my own answer, which initially he thought was hilarious :rofl: ..and cannot have any creedence.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. matthyaouw

    matthyaouw 1,216
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    Perhaps they stay close to the ground, making the legs most appealing to land on.
     
  4. Thats good, and it may be the case, but only a recorded database of Mosquito 'Bite' area's may be the only way to resolve a scientific answer...does anyone have a database of recorded Mozzee attack zone upon the human body? :bugeye: surely there cannot be a boffin who has painstakenly (sorry!), compiled such a database!

    Anyway thanks for the suggestion, thats all I am looking for really, some general thoughts on why the probability for Mozzee bites, appears to favour the lower limbs, any more ideas would be great.
     
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Most of my mosquito bites are on the arms. Mosquitos will tend to bite whatever skin is exposed.
     
  6. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,244
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    Just a hypothesis: anything within reach of slapping arms or listening ears or seeing eyes will much less likely get a bite. Legs are a great target for a mosquito to go unmolested.

    BTW, this does not require any intelligewnce or even any behavioral intitiative on the mosquito's part. All it requires is that mosquitos that happen to go for a target above the waist will get much less time and thus chance to get a successful hit.
     
  7. For several thousand years 99% of their food source has been with in 6 feet off the ground. The higher up off the ground the more wind you get too. I've been to places with swarms so thick that they blot out the sun !
     
  8. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    Then why are the swarming clouds of mosquitos always at eye-height, at least seem to be when you walk through them :bugeye:

    I think DaveC's explanation is good: the mosquito has more time to bite the leg. It could even be so that your legs are less sensitive to a mosquito bite, so that you don't notice when you are bitten. Also take into account that your legs are used to touching shrubs and other vegetation, so a tiny mosquito sting does not draw your attention.
     
  9. matthyaouw

    matthyaouw 1,216
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    while walking, your lower leg would stay more or less still while the foot is on the ground, where as other exposed skin is moving almost constantly. Perhaps legs are simply easier to land on due to this.
     
  10. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    That is all relative, what if the mosquito is moving at the same speed? You'd be standing still and your legs would keep moving back and forth! :tongue:
     
  11. THATS IT!

    Almost word for word that I gave as my answer :approve:

    I teased my friend into finding the logic herself, by replying initially with:The Ankles are out of H-arms way!..then..Mozzee's would not be Swatted by the host, if they were not within reach of Human Swatting, ie..the Hands are always the first reaction to any sting, the arms almost act independantly the instant a sting is felt.

    Thus, Mozzee's can bite and slurp thier hosts just that little longer?, if the bite is at the ankle for instance, you would have to move you leg towards your arm whilst moving your hand to swat, this motion may?..give Mozzee's that little instant longer to escape, a sort of motion warning signal.

    But I do not know if Mozzee's are 'Motion Sensitive', but I imagine they have evolved with some sort of learning/Survival instinct??

    Thanks all.

    P.S there was a lot we discussed, brought on by a documentary that showed a tiny Mosquito(at least thats what we assumed) that lays its egg in the nape of neck/join?.. of a type of ant..the Mozzee was only 1mm in size, thus the egg was minute, and they had to slow the footage down a lot in order to see the precission involved, amazing!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2005
  12. I remember from TV way back like a few years ago. Mosquitos are attracted to the stinky sweat smell.. like found under your knees, elbows, feet (especially FEET CHEESE!)

    I don't know.. any way to confirm this with publications?
     
  13. matthyaouw

    matthyaouw 1,216
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    Hmm, good point. My mistake.
     
  14. I heard they are atracted by CO2 too....
     
  15. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    They are, but I don't think that would explain the leg-issue :tongue:
     
  16. matthyaouw

    matthyaouw 1,216
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    Unless excess leg hair were to trap a layer of carbon dioxide given off by skin-dwelling bacteria. Not very likley, but its a posibility :wink:
     
  17. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    I'd agree this is a likely possibility (especially if you're out at a picnic sitting with your feet under a table where you can't see or hear the approach of the mosquito headed for you as you would if they were headed for your arms), another is that mosquitoes stay nearly moisture, and may spend more time hovering near the ground than up in the air, especially if the ground is very moist and grassy or covered with low shrubs (you probably just notice when the swarms rise up to eye height because they are at a good height to see them, but look close to dew-covered grass and plants and you'll see lots of skeeters around there). Also, there's lots of blood vessels close to the skin around your foot and ankle, which may attract skeeters there. Or, it just may be that your more sensitive to noticing an itchy foot or ankle than a bite elsewhere. My personal experience when I'm around mosquitoes is they don't seem to discriminate where they bite, anyplace with exposed skin will do, and I have bites everywhere, but those ones on the ankles itch the worst!
     
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