A world without mosquitoes

This is a very small orchid I had the good fortune to see while working in Costa Rica earlier this year. The full scale on the image is no more than an inch – you are looking at a very very small flower! Do you like it? You’ll be dismayed, then, to find out that this species is primarily pollinated by mosquitoes. You might not have known that mosquitoes are primarily nectar-feeders – only the females of some species need blood to develop eggs.

But still, imagine a world without mosquitoes. How bad would it be? No malaria, but what about other impacts? Are mosquitoes an important food source for other creatures, or do their pollination services preserve the existence of many other species? Surprisingly, some scientists think they could be safely eradicated – take a look at this recent Nature article. What do you think?

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