What Do Mosquitoes Look Like?

Of more than 3,000 documented mosquito species, the United States is host to 150. The appearance, habitat and habits of mosquitoes vary by species.

Mosquito Biting A Human
Mosquito Preparing to Bite

All mosquito species have one pair of scaled wings with a pair of halteres. Mosquitoes have slender bodies with long legs. While their size varies by species, most mosquitoes are smaller than 15 mm in length and weigh less than 2.5 mg. Although mosquitoes appear fragile, they are extremely resilient insects whose females may draw blood from a variety of animals.

Mosquitoes are sometimes confused with crane flies which are somewhat related. Crane fly adults appear to be gigantic mosquitoes, and people often say they are the male mosquito. In reality, they belong to a separate group of related insects. The females do not draw blood and would be no more than a nuisance.

Another group sometimes confused with mosquitoes are midges. These also are somewhat related to mosquitoes and can appear in massive numbers on buildings. Many midges do not blood feed; however, there are certain biting midges. Physically, mosquitoes can be distinguished by the presence of scales on their bodies and wings.

mosquito image side image of mosquito