Scales Fringing the Eye of a Male Giant Predatory Mosquito, Toxorhynchites speciosus

Oct 15, 2022

Toxorhynchites speciosus, is a very large, colorful mosquito, native to Australia. This specimen has a body length of 10mm, excluding appendages. It's total length is about 26mm, including legs and antennae. The species actually benefits humans. It's larvae eat other mosquito larvae and adults do not suck blood, instead feeding on plant juices. Recent purchase of a 50X Mitutoyo microscope objective has allowed me to explore the anatomy of a freshly mounted specimen. The image reveals astonishing details of hairs and iridescent scales fringing the right eye of a male specimen. The unusual structure of the ommatidia is also revealed. Please see the digital scale line for magnification. The original, 50 megapixel image has a magnification of approximately 3100X at 100%.e.

The species was selected to showcase the beauty and intricate structure of insects for a proposed display and possible popular publication. The possible audience would include families and curious adults.

The image was made using a Visionary digital imaging system with Profoto studio flash. Canon 5DS Camera, with 200mm telephoto lens with 50X Mitu