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Life Cycle of a Mosquito

Biology | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

What is Mosquito?

Famous for giving red, itchy bites, drinking blood of humans and animals, spreading diseases like malaria or dengue and breeding on stagnant water; mosquitoes can be called as the most dangerous and harmful insect.

4 Stages of a Mosquito Life Cycle

These small insects are part of the fly family. The name mosquito is Spanish for ‘little fly’. They go through four stages of life until they become an adult.

Stage 1 – Egg

This is the first stage where a female mosquito, after drinking the blood of a living being, lays 40 to 400 tiny eggs on stagnant or extremely slow moving water. Most eggs hatch into larvae within 48 hours while others might withstand subzero winters before hatching.

Stage 2 – Larva

The larvae (plural) poke a tube on the surface of the water to breathe air. They shed their own skin or molt four times and grow larger with every shed. They feed on microorganisms or organic matter found in the water.

Stage 3 – Pupa

This is the resting and non-feeding stage of development. But this is a mobile stage where the pupae respond to light changes, turn upside or move to a shelter. At this stage the pupa changes into an adult just like the metamorphosis happens when a caterpillar changes into a butterfly. The pupal skin splits and out comes an adult mosquito.

Stage 4 – Adult

For a short while the new adult stays on the surface of the water to allow its body parts to harden. Its wings also become dry and strong before it can fly, feed on blood and mate. An adult has a life span of 2 weeks to 6 months depending on the surrounding temperature.

3 Interesting Mosquito Facts

  1. Mosquitoes hibernate. Since they are cold blooded, they prefer warm climates. Some mosquito species die during winters but many hide and wait for the warmth to set in.
  2. Did you know that only female mosquitoes actually bite you? Male mosquitoes survive only on plant juices.
  3. There are different species of mosquitoes, depending on the climate and region. Some mosquitoes feed only on snakes and frogs; some prefer only birds while others prefer people and animal blood.

Head on to Biology for Kids for more such interesting biology videos and interactive articles.