Mosquitoes are insects from the Culicidae family, derived from a Latin name for “gnat”. There are more than 3500 different species of these insects, since mosquitoes are present almost all over the world.
However, it is the female mosquitoes which are the most notorious members of this family of insects. Namely, while the males are feeding on nectar and plant juices, females are feeding on our blood, which is also essential for their egg laying process. Thus, females are also responsible for all the disease transferring.
How Long Does a Mosquito Live?
Many people are interested in lives of these remarkable insects. Basically, mosquito life goes through several stages. It all begins with an egg, moving on to a larva, pupa and, finally, the adult stage. The final stage of a mosquito's life is spent outside while all the previous stages occur in water.
The Egg and the Larva Stage
Eggs are laid in water. Thus, the most convenient places for this process are marshes, lakes, puddles, or any areas with still water. The same areas are used as breeding spots by mosquitoes themselves.
Once a mosquito develops a head, it becomes a larva and leaves the egg entering the second part of its existence. While being a larva, a mosquito has a large thorax without the legs, with a segmented abdomen, using the eighth segment in order to perspire. That being said, they need to visit the surface of the water in order to get in contact with the air. During this time, mosquitoes feed on algae, bacteria and some other microorganisms. All this takes place above the water level and larvae escape underneath only when threatened. Since larvae cannot fly due to their lack of wings, these organisms move on the surface of the water by swimming. Once the four steps of their development finish, they evolve into a pupa.
The Pupa and the Adult Stage
During the pupa stage, a mosquito's body is modified and the head is connected to the abdomen, along with the thorax. Additionally, these organisms look like commas when they are viewed from the side. Again, pupae need to reach the water surface for air. However, they perspire with developed respiratory trumpets. However, during this stage, mosquitoes are fairly inactive, reaching the surface solely for air, since they do not feed while being pupae.
Finally, once this stage is complete, an adult mosquito emerges from the water. It enters mating process during the second or the third day of adulthood. As the night falls, or during the first moments of the dawn, mosquitoes gather around and fly in swarms, mating in the process.
All in all, male mosquitoes live for around a week, while females live for two weeks or a bit more, feeding on blood in the process. Once a female lays eggs, she continues her search for blood. If the temperature is adequate a female mosquito may live up to 100 days, while a male may live up to 25 days.