Mosquito Life Cycle
What is the Mosquito Life Cycle?
What is a Mosquito?
The word “mosquito” is the Spanish and Portuguese word for “little fly”
Mosquitoes are common insects that bite and feed on the blood of humans and other animals. There are more than 3,500 types of mosquitoes found all around the world.
Not all mosquitoes bite people or animals. Male mosquitoes only eat plant nectar, while females need host’s blood to develop and nourish eggs. Some mosquitoes bite, but do not spread germs. These types of mosquitoes are called nuisance mosquitoes.
Some mosquitoes spread pathogens (germs) to people and animals. These types of mosquitoes are called vector mosquitoes. A vector is an animal, insect, or tick that spreads viruses and parasites to people and animals.
What are the 4 Stages of the Mosquito Life Cycle?
Mosquitoes go through FOUR stages of life. This process is called metamorphosis. (changes and grows at each stage). Many other insects, such as butterflies, moths, and beetles, undergo metamorphosis.
The four stages in mosquito metamorphosis are:
- THE EGG
- THE LARVA
- THE PUPA
- THE ADULT
Life Cycle of a Mosquito is an example of Complete Metamorphosis.
Stage 1. EGG
This is the first stage of the mosquito life cycle. Depending on the species, the female mosquito lays the eggs on the surface of still water, along its edges, in tree holes, or in other areas that are prone to flooding from rain or flooding.
Stage 2. LARVA
Eggs will hatch into larvae within 1- 2 days. Once the egg hatches, the larval stage begins.
The mosquito larvae are tiny, worm-like animals without legs. They have many hairs, especially around their mouth.
Most larvae breathe through an air tube which is attached to the tail end, called a SIPHON. The larvae stick their siphons out of the water to breathe. Larvae and pupae usually cannot survive without water.
At this stage the hard outer layer of the mosquitoes, called the EXOSKELETON, is removed. This process of exoskeleton removal is also called MOLTING.
In simple words, molting means shedding the outgrown skin.
The larva continues to eat and grow and molt four times. The stages between these molts are called instars. A mosquito larva goes through four instars, and during the final molt, the pupa emerges. Depending on the species, water temperature, and food availability, the larval stage ranges from 4 to 14 days.
Stage 3. PUPA
Stage 4. ADULT
This is the last and final stage of the mosquito life cycle. The new adults rest on the surface of water for a couple of hours to dry its wings to prepare for flight. They fly to nearby vegetation and plants to suck plant nectar.
Adult female mosquitoes seek an animal on which to feed. After feeding, female mosquitoes look for water sources to lay eggs.
Summary - Four Stages of the Lyfe Cycle of a Mosquito
➤ Stage 1. Egg –
- Female mosquitoes lays eggs on water surface, treeholes, water edges etc.
➤ Stage 2. Larva
- A larva hatches from the egg.
- They have no legs.
- They have many hairs, especially around their mouth.
- Most larvae breathe through an air tube which is attached to the tail end, called a SIPHON.
- At this stage, it sheds its exoskeleton four or five times.
➤ Stage 3. Pupa
- During this stage, the old body parts of the larva go through an incredible change called Metamorphosis.
- The pupa does not feed and has no eyes.
➤ Stage 4. Adult Mosquito –
- The adult mosquito comes out of the pupa with wet wings.
- It flies short time after emerging and after its body parts have hardened.
- This is the last and final stage of the life cycle of a butterfly.
Mosquitoes Facts For Kids
➤ FACT 1. The word “mosquito” is the Spanish and Portuguese word for “little fly“.
➤ FACT 2. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on Earth. Spreading diseases such as malaria, dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, Zika, chikungunya, and lymphatic filariasis, the mosquito kills more people than any other creature in the world. [ref].
➤ FACT 3. Only female mosquitoes bite people and animals to get a blood meal to produce eggs..
➤ FACT 4. As a defense mechanism, when alarmed, the larvae can dive deeper into the water by swimming in a characteristic “S” motion, which has earned them the nickname “wigglers” or “wrigglers”.
➤ FACT 5. Females are capable of flying for miles if necessary and can lay over 100 eggs at a time
➤ FACT 6. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, lactic acid and octenol found in our breath and sweat. Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide from 75 feet away.
➤ FACT 7. Mosquitoes prefer Blood Group-O, people with high body heat, pregnant women and beer consumers.
➤ FACT 8. Mosquitoes Prefer Darker Colors. So if you’re trying to avoid mosquitoes, wear lighter-colored clothing because they can be attracted to darker colors.
➤ FACT 9. A Mosquito’s Wings Beat 300–600 Times Per Second.
➤ FACT 10. A Full Moon Makes Mosquitoes More Active.
Hope you enjoyed the mosquito life cycle and fun facts about mosquito.