Do Mosquitoes Die When They Bite?

Profile of Mosquito

Mosquitoes & Blood Meals

One of the incorrect assumptions surrounding mosquitoes is they only consume blood to meet their nutritional needs.

Female Mosquitoes

It is important to note that only female mosquitoes bite. Depending upon the mosquito species and the environmental conditions where they are located, mosquitoes live for about one to two months.

Male Mosquitoes

Male mosquitoes do not consume blood. However, females are consummate blood feeders that bite us for the proteins and iron in our blood needed for the production, development and maturing of their eggs. If they do not consume a blood meal, they will not produce eggs.

In fact, both the males and females feed on plant nectar and water which are the sources of sugars and moisture they require for energy and survival.

Types of Mosquitoes

Most mosquito females lay more than batch of eggs, but not all species of mosquitoes require a blood meal for egg development and hatching of eggs in each batch.

In fact, mosquito specialists have identified three groups of mosquitoes based upon the egg’s need for blood in order to develop, mature and hatch:

  • Anautogenous mosquitoes: Species in which females must have a blood meal to enable egg production. All species in this group lay multiple batches of eggs and each batch requires the female to consume one or more blood meals.

  • Facultative autogenous mosquitoes: Species that produce a mature developed first batch of eggs without consuming a blood meal. They must have a blood meal to produce subsequent batches of eggs that will develop and hatch.

  • Obligate autogenous mosquitoes: Species that produce eggs without ever consuming a blood meal.

As a result, female mosquitoes do not die when they bite because if they did such behavior would almost certainly result in severe mosquito population reductions or perhaps eventual extinction.

Resources

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