COMMENT

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” So wrote Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1973, simplifying all there is to understand about the ambition of nature.

And yet… the mosquito.What need is there for a creature who’s role is purely nuisance – big brothers have filled that evolutionary niche.

And yet… the mosquito.What need is there for a creature who’s role is purely nuisance – big brothers have filled that evolutionary niche. For biting, there are little sisters. What exactly is the point of the mosquito?

Not every mosquito, obviously. I am sure there are fine examples who raise funds for the local church and ferry disabled mosquitoes to the match.

I’m talking in particular about this mosquito. This one.

Somewhere she hides in my bedroom, this tormentor, this dive-bomber, this turbulent minx.

It is 3am. The lights are on. I am lying on bed letting my mosquito bait (my carbon dioxide breath) hang in the air so I can persuade this fat, sated mossie to pop back for a nightcap.

When she does I am ready. The fly swat is firm in my grip.

I’d rather she bite me and be done, of course. Get on with her bloody invasion while I sleep. I tried that bargain with her last night. But she’s cold-hearted. She has to rub it in, like hydrocortisone acetate 1% sting relief cream.

She took a victory roll round ear after feasting – bzzz, bzzz, bzzz – to ensure I woke up and knew her crime. I fumbled with the light switch and the fly swat but she was gone.

That is why sleep is out the question tonight. I am ready. She will slip up eventually. Oh yes. Her complacency will be her undoing.

Bloodshot eyes scan the walls. The fly swat twitches. Predator and prey locked a dance as old as time. Come out, come out wherever you are, my pretty…