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Mosquito Life Cycle

Mosquito, After Feeding
Mosquito, After Feedings

The length of the mosquito life cycle varies between species and is dependent upon environmental conditions such as temperature and moisture. However, the life cycle of all mosquitoes is comprised of the egg, larval, pupal and adult stages.

Male mosquitoes feed on plant nectar alone, while females extract the blood of hosts in order to develop and nourish eggs. Most mosquitoes lay their eggs directly into water. Others lay their eggs near bodies of water but not within them.

Eggs will hatch into larvae within 24 to 48 hours. Larvae soon grow to become approximately 5 mm in length. Most larvae breathe through air tubes. Larger larvae can be seen floating just above the surface of infested waters.

Within seven to 10 days, larvae enter the pupal stage. Pupae are also visible upon the surface of the breeding site. After a mosquito is fully developed, it will emerge as an adult from its pupal case. At this time, the new adult stands upon the water and dries its wings to prepare for flight. Adult female mosquitoes will then seek an animal on which to feed. Females are capable of flying for miles if necessary and can lay over 100 eggs at a time.

Larvae and pupae usually cannot survive without water. If a water source evaporates before the larvae and pupae within it transform into adult mosquitoes, those young often will die.

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