Mosquito biological factors
Mosquito biological development and factors that may contribute with their development:
- Many mosquitoes, lay their eggs on the surface of fresh or stagnant water.
- Culex mosquitoes usually lay their eggs at night over a period of time sticking them together to form a raft of from 100 to 300 eggs. A female mosquito may lay a raft of eggs every third night during its life span.
- Anopheles and many other mosquitoes lay their eggs singly on the water surface. Aedes and Ochlerotatus mosquitoes lay their eggs singly, usually on damp soil. Anopheles , Culex and Mansonia eggs are susceptible to long periods of drying out.
Tiny mosquito larvae (1st instar) emerge from the eggs within 24 - 48 hours almost in unison.
Mosquito larvae, commonly called "wigglers," live in water from 4 to 14 days depending on water temperature.
One mosquito species larva feeds on larvae of other mosquitoes: Toxorhynchites, the largest mosquito known, are predators of other mosquito larvae sharing their habitat. Their larvae are much larger than other mosquito larvae.
During growth, the larva molts (sheds its skin) four times. The stages between molts are called instars. At the 4th instar, the usual larva reaches a length of almost 1/2 inch and toward the end of this instar ceases feeding.
The metamorphosis of the mosquito into an adult is completed within the pupal case. The adult mosquito splits the pupal case and emerges to the surface of the water where it rests until its body dries and hardens.
Only female mosquitoes require a blood meal and bite animals - warm or cold blooded - and birds. Stimuli that influence biting (blood feeding) include a combination of carbon dioxide, temperature, moisture, smell, color and movement. Male mosquitoes do not bite, but feed on the nectar of flowers or other suitable sugar sourse.