Mosquito video story better than CSI forensics shows

The video was inspired by one of the best true crime stories reported in the minutes of the International Society for Forensics Genetics assembly held in 2006.  This murder crime took place in Sicily, where the corpse of a transsexual prostitute was discovered near a beach. The main suspect was a business man living in a faraway neighborhood but whose car had been seen near the beach, the day of the murder crime.

(SPOILERS:) From the blood of one dead mosquito at the home of the business man, the CSI forensics police was able to collect DNA evidence from the victim.  After verifying that the mosquito specie would not have been able to fly the distance from the beach to the suspect house on its own, it was a proof of the connection between the suspect and the victim.  Combined with sand and other vegetal fragments from the beach also discovered at its home, the jury found the business man guilty of the murder crime.

Top 5 frequently asked questions about mosquito video

This is a true but unusual story, as mosquitoes are more likely to be the active murderer than the passive witness of murder crime.  Each year approximately 725 000 people die from disease carried by mosquitoes, such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, west nile virus and other chikungunya.  Mosquitos are far more efficient killers compared to sharks (only 10 human kills in 2013) or wolves (average of 7 mortal attacks per year) that nonetheless receive more airtime.

Fortunately, not all mosquito bites bring death. Otherwise humanity would not have evolved this far, since the oldest mosquito, caught in amber, is 80 million year old. This is quite a long, conflicted, but well understood, relationship that continues to drive us crazy every day.

1. Why do mosquito bites ?

Only the female mosquito bites.  She needs the proteins from the blood to lay her egg, while male mosquito are vegetarians, feeding on nectar harvested from flowers. Not all female mosquitoes are attracted to humans.  Of the 3,500 species, only a couple hundred feast on human blood as the rest lives in forests and sustains on animal blood.

2. What attracts mosquitoes ?

Well, it seems like not all blood proteins are equal.  Mosquitoes read the blood type from chemical signals secreted by 85% of the people on their skin.  The 15% not sharing blood information are more likely to be ignored.  But for the rest of us, Type O blood is targeted twice as often as those with Type A, with Type B blood somewhere in the middle. 

3. Why mosquitoes buzz in peple's ears ?

Mosquitoes detect their prey from exhaled carbon dioxide up to 100 feet away.  Since human breath through their nose and mouth, mosquitoes are attracted to our heads.  By the way, tall or obese people who exhale more CO2 gas are more prone to getting attacked than children or underweight people.

4. Why do mosquito bites itch ?

When a female mosquito inserts her mouth trump, called proboscis, into the victim’s skin, she injects some saliva.  The saliva serves as an anticoagulant to keep the blood liquid and drinkable. The foreign fluid triggers a natural immune response which results in the production of histamines generating a chemical reaction with the saliva felt in the dreaded itch.  Diseases, such as malaria, are transmitted to human through the saliva injected by the contaminated mosquito.

5. What prevents mosquito eradication once and for all ?

Hmm, that’s the ultimate ethical question arising every time humans try to play gods. 

A British biotech firm has patented a method of breeding male mosquitos with genetically-modified DNA to be released in the wild in large quantities. After mating with wild females, their offspring larvae die before being able to fly or bite, reducing quickly the population. While appealing to fight dangerous disease, some scientists are worried about the unknown effects on the ecosystem, induced by the dramatic change in the food chain of many species including spiders, salamanders, frogs, fish and birds.  Others are concerned about uncontrolled natural mutation of such genetically modified organisms into a more fearful transmitter of disease.

Slapping conclusion to our mosquito video

Voila! We went full circle from the CSI forensics helping to solve murder crime to the modified DNA evidence used for mosquito eradication. Will we be able to make the best use of this technology for the greater good?  Well, to echo the punch line of the mosquito video:

Before swatting your next mosquito, be sure you have a clear conscience

Soundtrack for True Crime Stories 

Murder Crime

"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"   Dalai Lama


Stan Ridgway created 

his most beautifully

melodic album, with

"Mosquitos". His

songwriting has

remained strong over the course of his entire obscure career, but here he simply seems to have found the right musical mix to complement his songwriting. His modest use of synths, harmonica, and yes, even trombones, is inspired, if not typical Stan Ridgway.


Join lead crime

policeHoratio Caine

(David Caruso) and

his state-of-the-art

CSI forensics team

as they investigate

hot and steamy

Miami murder crimes

using cold hard facts. The evidence leads into seedy nightclubs, privileged suburbs and explosive family secrets.


Harvard professor

Andrew Spielman

has dedicated his

life to understanding

this insect, a passion

that makes him the

perfect guide to their

amazing world and the perfect author of this lively, accessible book that offers an intriguing and horrifying mosquito-eye view of nature and man. .

Watch CSI forensics

Read on whydo mosquitoes bite

Listen to why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears

True Story of a Murder Solved by a Mosquito

DNA evidence

In this animated video, a mosquito retells his story of how it solved a murder crime. reflects on the ethical use of DNA evidence, from CSI forensics to mosquito eradication

What attracts mosquitoes

Mosquito eradication

CSI Miami
Record cover for Mosquito from Stan Ridgway
book cover for Mosquito, a natural history of our most persistent and deadly foe
True Story of a Murder Solved by a Mosquito

​​Other Lessons from Nature :

​​The making of the mosquito video :

​Various pictures, paintings, trailers, and other videos were selected, edited, animated and colored by to create the original visuals for our 90-second-short video.  By order of apparition: