The Name Mosquito


Mosquitoes spend part of there lifecycle in water making them both an aquatic and terrestrial insect. All mosquitoes undergo four stages of development- egg, larva, pupa and adult.




raftEggs are laid on the surface of the water or on dry land where the female mosquito anticipates water to collect.  Depending on the species of mosquito the female will lay her eggs individually or attached together to form an egg raft.



larvaOnce the female mosquito lays her eggs they hatch into larvae.  Larvae live in the water coming to the surface to breath through their siphon while feeding by filtering microorganisms and organic matter through their mouthparts.  The larva molt their skin four times (1st – 4th instar) after each molt the larva becomes larger.


pupaIn the final aquatic stage of their development, the larvae develop into pupae.  At this stage of development the pupae stops eating and begins to position themselves to emerge as adult mosquitoes.  The pupae are also known as tumblers; they spin or tumble through the water coming to the surface to breathe through two small tubes called trumpets.  Once development is complete the pupal skin splits and the adult mosquito emerges.


femaleWhen the adult mosquito emerges from its pupal casing it must sit on top of the pupal skin in the water to allow its external skeleton to harden.  When dry, the adult mosquito flies away to locate a meal and a mate.  The male mosquitoes emerge 24-48 hours before the female and feed on plant nectar.  When the female emerges she searches for a blood meal and a mate.  The female must take a blood meal for the protein enzymes that enable her to develop and lay eggs.  Normally female mosquitoes feed and mate anywhere from one to three times during its lifespan.

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