The lifespan of adult mosquitoes is dependent on the species; under natural conditions, they can live from few days to several months. However, in their life cycle , they undergo a complete metamorphosis, comprised of four different stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
Blood is vital for egg development, therefore females extract the blood of hosts in order to develop and nourish eggs. The eggs need water to hatch as a result, most mosquitoes lay their eggs directly into water, others lay their eggs in moist soils near water bodies at the edge.The eggs are deposited singly or in clusters known as rafts and they vary in shape, size and colour depending on the mosquito species.
Eggs will hatch into larvae commonly known as “wigglers” within 24 to 48 hours. Most larvae breathe through air tubes and feed on microscopic organisms and organic matter in the water. Larger larvae can be seen floating or wiggling just above the surface of infested waters. Larvae cannot survive without water. If a water source dries up before the larvae pupates, , they will die. In some species, they go into diapause and overwinter.
Within seven to ten days, larvae enter the pupal stage. Pupae commonly known as “tumblers” are also visible upon the surface of the breeding site. It is the resting stage during they do not feed but can still move. After few days, fully developed adult mosquitoes emerge from the pupaee. The pupae cannot survive without water, if water source dries up, they die.
Mosquitoes reach adulthood after emerging from their pupal casings. Males hatch first and are followed by the females shortly afterward, at which time there is a mating swarm. Males live for few days to a couple of weeks, but females can live for almost a month or so. The males feed on nectar; however, as you learned, the females will need a blood meal at some point, which they get through . After finding a blood meal, the female lays her eggs and starts the cycle again. Under favourable environmental conditions, the life cycle can be completed at least in 10 to 18 days.
Learn more on how you can prepare for mosquito season.
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