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The Mosquito Life Cycle

Updated on May 12, 2014

A Look into the Life Cycle of the Mosquito Species and What Makes Them Treat You the Way That They Do

Have you ever actually thought about the mosquito anatomy or how mosquitoes turn into the blood sucking creatures that everyone loves to hate? For most, the answer to that question is probably an extra large NO. With the world's largest mosquito reaching 1.5 inches in length and the smallest being almost invisible to the eye, mosquitoes and mosquito facts can be just as riveting as any other subject's story. Understanding the life cycle of a mosquito and what makes these mosquitoes tick can also help you be prepared for when they decide to invade your territory which includes your own skin.

The Life Cycle of a Mosquito

Like most creatures of the Earth, the mosquito goes through various stages before it becomes a full, grown adult. While the mosquito life span may not be very long - a female mosquito may only live for 3 to 100 days while a male mosquito may last for about 10 to 20 days - they go through a lot to get to the point where your blood is their favorite course. This life cycle can be broken up into a few basic parts which are:

  • The Egg Stage
  • The Larva Stage
  • The Pupa Stage
  • The Adult Stage

These four main stages follow the mosquito lifespan from beginning to end. Thankfully, as you already know, this life won't last long enough to do mass amounts of damage, but is just long enough to possibly aggravate your life.

A Mosquito Laying Eggs
A Mosquito Laying Eggs

Mosquito Eggs

As one may expect, the egg stage for the mosquito is the first stage. Also as one may expect, these eggs do not just appear out of thin air. Yep you guessed it; they come from a mother mosquito that can produce up to 250 eggs at a time. These 250 eggs can only come about after the female mosquito feasts on at least one blood meal in order to have enough nutrients for the mass amount of mosquito eggs to be born. Once enough nutrients are consumed, possibly from your very own blood, it is time to watch out.

Watch out because within 48 to 72 hours, those eggs will be hatching into the next stage of the mosquito lifecycle. Before you start really getting scared, there are a few common places that female mosquitoes love to lay their eggs. You just may be able to find the root of a mosquito infestation without having to look too hard. Here are the most common places you will find a mosquito eggs waiting to hatch and take over the world:

  • The top surface of any stagnant water
  • A depression or ridge of a container where rainwater collects
  • Close to small bodies of water such as ponds or moats
  • Inside marshlands
  • The inside of an outdoor flower pot

Basically, wherever there is an ideal aquatic location, a mosquito habitat will be formed. If you do find a nest, then it is most certainly time to get to work. You can spray down the area with an aerosol mosquito killer, but that is not the best thing to do for the environment. Instead, you may want to use a product like a Mosquito Trap, a safe and technologically proven device that will get rid of those pesky insects in your life.

Mosquito Larvae
Mosquito Larvae

Mosquito Larvae

Mosquito larvae and mosquito larva pictures are an interesting sight to see. Commonly referred to as "Wrigglers", these newly hatched insects can be seen wriggling up and down from the surface of the water. Get too close, though, and they will seemingly disappear. This is because the larvae are on a mission to protect themselves from mosquito predators. So to keep themselves safe, they quickly dive to the bottom of whatever water they were born into.

Within five to six days, the mosquito larvae stage is complete. In this time period, the insects start to take form. A nicely shaped head and legs can been detected along with a wider thorax stemming from the abdomen. At the tip of the abdomen is where the siphon is found, which allows the larvae to breathe air from the surface. Some mosquito larvae do not have this siphon and get their air from the dorsal surface of the abdomen.

There are many mosquito types, but no matter how they get their air, these larvae are on the verge of stepping into their next stage which is known as the Pupa stage. This means that they are also almost ready to introduce themselves into the living world and maybe to your flesh.

The Pupa Stage

When it comes to mosquito pictures, the pupa stage is not the most photographed of the mosquito stages. While an adult mosquito picture may be common, yet hard to get, the pupa stage is pretty much impossible to capture. This is mostly due to the fact that the pupa stage of mosquitoes causes these forming insects to somersault through the water. Staying close to the surface for air until they are disturbed, mosquito pupae finish this stage in about two to three days.

Adult Female Mosquito
Adult Female Mosquito

The Adult Stage

After their brief stint with metamorphosis, the hatched eggs are finally ready to step into adulthood. And seeming we are not considered mosquito eaters, that is bad news for us. While vegans may value mosquito life, most would rather dispose of these adult bugs before they become too big of a problem.

When it comes down to it though, it is the female mosquito that is really the arch nemesis of humankind. Here is what the female mosquitoes of the world love to eat:

  • Plant Nectar
  • Honey Dew
  • Sugar Sources
  • Your Blood

Depending on their species, some females do indulge themselves on other animals such as birds and horses. So for all of you who are just expecting to go and stick mosquito eating birds in your backyard, think again. The same goes for male mosquitoes, minus the feasting on blood.

So how exactly does the female get to your blood? Does it have teeth and if so how many teeth does a mosquito have? The answers to these questions are simple, yet at the same time tricky. Mosquitoes technically do not have teeth but do have serrated teeth that surround a pair of thin tubes. The tubes are used for:

  • Dripping a Pain Suppressor
  • Sucking Blood

And those are two things that could most certainly start your day off all wrong. The mosquitoes most commonly found around homes will follow this protocol in order to get the nutrients they need from your blood:

  1. Stab the skin
  2. Saw into the skin
  3. Shoot saliva mixed with an anesthetic so you will never notice
  4. Shoot an anticoagulant into you in order for the blood to keep flowing freely

Once the female feeds off of you, the life cycle of the mosquito is almost through. All that is left is for her to go lay her eggs and begin the cycle for a new batch of blood thirsty villains all over again.

DEET Spray
DEET Spray

What You Can Do

The best thing that you can do to protect yourself from mosquito bites and potential mosquito borne diseases is be prepared for the worst. You don't have to know mosquito identification, mosquito classification, or the scientific name in order to stop the pesky buggers from flying your way. All you really need is a mosquito control product like DEET spray for your skin, a mosquito net for your yard, or a Mega-Catch mosquito trap for your yard or hallway. As long as you have these products by your side, you won't have to worry about having nightmares about mosquito eyes lurking in the night. A sensible and safe plan is all you really need.

Mosquito Trap
Mosquito Trap

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    • AndyBaker profile image

      AndyBaker 8 years ago from UK

      Nice pictures and videos - thanks for this.

      That mosquito really looks like it could do some damage!

    • JessicaR1211 profile image

      JessicaR1211 7 years ago from Boston, Massachusetts

      Wow, some of those pictures are rather digusting! I hate mosquitos!

    • profile image

      Matt 6 years ago

      Thanks for publishing these videos. We have now identified the larvae and pupae swimming around our birdbath and will drain it to hopefully prevent them from becoming adults.

    • profile image

      Imtesal 6 years ago

      This is gonna help me a lot on my project!!! :D thanx

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      yehey i have already a project

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      Girl Children 6 years ago

      What is this? I just wanna find other EXP.

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      selena 6 years ago

      this is my whole project already ggggggggg thanx

    • magicthe profile image

      magicthe 6 years ago

      I can see that you are an expert at your field. Thanks for info

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      shaira 6 years ago

      thank you

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      Nicole 5 years ago

      Thank you for the tips :)!!!!!!!!

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      Dmex 5 years ago

      nice job but not really complete

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      Tim Smith 5 years ago

      im doing a science report

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      not all i am looking for but thanks anyway

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      my project info thnx

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      its help me very much thankzzzzz

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      sherrybaby 5 years ago

      Thanks, exactly what I was looking for to figure out what was wriggling around in my plant water.

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      sinthiya 5 years ago

      nice

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      ewwwww!!!!!!!

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      Ogunbadeniyi seun 5 years ago

      This is wonderful! Am a nigerian and i hate mosquitoes bcos it gives us malaria.

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      abby 4 years ago

      i have to do a report on a mosquito and all the info. i need is right here, thanks!

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      Scott 4 years ago

      Thanks for information. I hate mosquitoes cos bite me all time :@

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