Both male and female mosquitoes find nutrition in the sugars of nectar and plant juices, but females are specially adapted to pierce skin and suck blood from their prey.
Whilst lipids provide a valuable source of nutrition, the females of many species need the blood protein to enable egg production, and in others it enables them to produce more eggs.
Prior to feeding, mosquitoes inject saliva into their prey as an anticoagulant to prevent the proboscis from becoming clogged and it is during this process that malaria parasites are transmitted, which then travel to the liver to mature and reproduce.
Mosquitoes prefer blood type O, heavy breathers, the pregnant, excessive skin bacteria, and people with a lot of body heat. The resulting bump or wheal after a bite is caused by histamines fighting off the protein left by the mosquito.