I don't understand, why you would call it a bite, when a mosquito "bites" you.

I'm fine with saying "bite" to a wound produced by a tick or other insects that actually have a mouth or something comparable.
But mosquitos, they don't have a mouth or teeth with which they could bite you. In my opinion, they sting you.

This is even worse for wasps. They really sting you with their sting to defend themselves (and not to feast on your blood), yet still some people call it an insect bite.

  • 3
    Related. :^) See also Definition #2. – J.R. Jul 27 '13 at 10:10
  • 1
    Since a mosquito uses its mandibles (levered against its maxillae) to pierce your skin and then uses its labrum as a straw to suck your blood into its stomach, it might make more sense to call the injury a "mosquito stab" or "mosquito puncture wound" or a "mosquito piercing." In any case, it's closer to a bite than to a sting. – Sven Yargs Oct 15 '13 at 22:33

We use bite for insects (or other beasts) that harm us with their mouth parts, such as snakes or spiders. We use sting when they harm us with a defensive device (i.e. sting), like in the case of wasps or bees.

Mouth parts do not necessarily need to be mandibles that open and close. They can have different structures and ways of working.

Female mosquitoes do have mouth parts with which they bite us. Look here. Therefore, and according to the previous logic, the phrase "mosquito bite" is correct.

  • 1
    ...Fascinating! – buschtoens Jul 27 '13 at 12:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.