Predatory Mosquito from Australia

Unknown insect
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
August 29, 2011 2:25 am
Dear bugman
I have recently discovered the world of macro photography, particularly insects.
I found this little guy clinging to the leaf of a cordyline in my garden.
I would guess it is approx 20mm in length from head to tail (not including antennae)
If you can also recommend a great resource for me to start learning to identify bugs myself, it would be greatly appreciated.
Signature: Regards, Jon – Carassius Productions

Predatory Mosquito

Dear Jon,
The manner in which this insect holds its legs is very characteristic of a Mosquito.  We believe we might have identified your Mosquito as a Predatory Mosquito, 
Toxorhynchites speciosus, by comparing it to images on the Insects of Brisbane website.  Since female Mosquitoes feed on the blood of other creatures, including humans, we are not entirely certain why this species is called a Predatory Mosquito to distinguish it from other Mosquitoes.  We then learned on the Department of Medical Entomology USYD website, that the larvae are predatory on the larvae of other Mosquitoes.  We also learned:  “Habits & Habitats  Adults are seldom collected as they are not blood-feeders and not attracted to humans; they feed on plant juices and nectar; they are sometimes seen in gardens and occasionally enter houses during warmer months. The larval stages are predacious on other mosquito larvae.  Vector & Pest Status  There is no concern for a pest nuisance as the species does not bite, and thus there is no relation to disease.”  We generally start our online research of Australian insects with the Insects of Brisbane website. 

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