Mosquito facts
Mosquito life cycle
Mosquito feeding habits
Mosquito pest control
Mosquito pictures
Mosquito disease
Mosquito myths
Mosquito links
Mosquito news archive



The mosquito is a common flying insect that is found around the world. There are about 2,800 different species of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can fly about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour (1,6-2,4 km/hour).

The mosquito females drink blood and the nectar of plants; the males only sip plant nectar. When a female bites, she also injects an anticoagulant (anti-clotting chemical) into the prey to keep the victim's blood flowing. She finds her victims by sight and smell, and also by detecting their warmth. Not all mosquito species bite humans.

The mosquito is often a carrier of diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever, encephalitis, yellow fever, West Nile virus, dog heartworm, and many others. The females, who drink blood, can carry disease from one animal or human to another as they feed.
Anatomy Picture of an Adult Female Mosquito
Like all insects, the mosquito has a body divided into three parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), a hard exoskeleton, and six long, jointed legs. Mosquitoes also have a pair of veined wings. They have a straw-like proboscis and can only eat liquids.

Mosquitos go through four distinct stages of development during a lifetime, they undergo a complete metamorphosis; The four stages are egg, pupa, larva, and adult. The full life-cycle of a mosquito takes about a month. After drinking blood, adult females lay a raft of 50 to 400 tiny white eggs in standing water or very slow-moving water.
Within a week, the eggs hatch into larvae (sometimes called "wrigglers") that breathe air through tubes which they poke above the surface of the water. Larvae eat bits of floating organic matter and each other. Larvae molt four times as they grow; after the fourth molt, they are called "pupae".
Pupae (also called "tumblers") also live near the surface of the water, breathing through two horn-like tubes (called siphons) on their back. Pupae don't eat.
An adult mosquito emerges from a pupa when the skin splits after a couple of days. The adult lives for a few weeks.

Kingdom Animalia; Phylum Arthropoda (arthropods); Class Insecta (insects); Order Diptera ("two wings"); Family Culicidae.

  © 2004 - Privacy Policy & Disclaimer