This 2006 photograph depicted a female Aedes aegypti
mosquito while she was in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host, who in this instance, was actually the biomedical photographer, James Gathany, here at the Centers for Disease Control. The feeding apparatus consisted of a sharp, orange-colored fascicle that was covered in a soft, pliant sheath called the "labellum while not feeding. The labellum was shown here retracted as the sharp "stylets" contained within pierced the host's skin surface, thereby, allowing the insect to obtain its blood meal. The orange color of the fascicle was due to the red color of the blood as it migrated up the thin, sharp translucent tube. Note the distended abdominal exoskeleton, which being translucent, allowed the color of the ingested blood meal to be visible.