The mosquitoes are a family of small, midge-like flies: the Culicidae. Although a few species are harmless or even useful to humanity, most are a nuisance because they consume blood from living vertebrates, including humans. The females of many species of mosquitoes are blood eating pests. In feeding on blood, some of them transmit extremely harmful human and livestock diseases, such as malaria. Some authorities argue accordingly that mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals on Earth. Mosquitoes are members of a family of nematocerid flies: the Culicidae (from the Latin culex, genitive culicis meaning 'midge' or 'gnat'). The word mosquito (formed by mosca and diminutive ito) is from the Spanish for 'little fly'. Superficially, mosquitoes resemble crane flies (family Tipulidae) and chironomid flies (family Chironomidae); as a result, casual observers seldom realise the important differences between the members of the respective families.
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