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WHAT IS THE MOSQUITO?


Mosquitos lay their eggs in water and the larvae often called wigglers have a soft body, hard head and a breathing tube at the top of their abdomen. Adult mosquitos have a long proboscis for sucking blood and one pair of transparent wings. Females are also much larger then their male counterparts. Another difference between the two is that the males have bushy antennae while the females have threadlike antennae.



Mosquitos have 4 stages in their development including an egg, larva, pupa and adult stage. During the first 3 stages the mosquito stays in the water. Females also live longer then males by a few weeks to help them reproduce. Males only live less then a week. Larvae eat algae and bacteria growing on the rocks. When the mosquitos grow to adulthood both the males and the females feed on nectar. Females also feed on blood which is essential for making eggs. Males do not feed on blood.














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Larvae and pupae live in water, usually still water. They do not survive well in rushing streams or badly polluted water. Adults hide in vegetation near water or in cool, damp places. Many species fly in search of blood meals in the evening. Many fish and predatory aquatic insects eat larvae and pupae. Bats, birds and spiders eat flying adults. Mosquito larvae are important food for fish and other predatory aquatic animals. Adult mosquitoes are also important food for birds, bats and other arthropods, including dragonflies and spiders. Mosquitoes transmit pathogens that cause some of the worst diseases known, including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and encephalitis. However, mosquitoes only transmit the pathogens. In most cases, they must feed on someone with the disease to be able to transmit it to another person.

 

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