All mosquitos have a long, slender proboscis (beak), a pair of slender, 15-segmented antennae, and densely scaled wing veins. The female proboscis has 6 long, pointed stylets that enter the victim's skin in rapid succession.
MosquitoMosquito [Span "little fly"], a fragile, long-legged FLY of order Diptera, family Culicidae. About 3000 species are known worldwide, at least 74 in Canada. Only females seek blood meals; both sexes feed on nectar.
All mosquitos have a long, slender proboscis (beak), a pair of slender, 15-segmented antennae, and densely scaled wing veins. The female proboscis has 6 long, pointed stylets that enter the victim's skin in rapid succession. The female may take 3 times her own weight in blood, using it for egg production.
Reproduction and Development
Eggs are laid on water or moist soil. Those laid on soil may hatch after flooding or may remain dormant until the next spring. Eggs deposited in aquatic habitats subject to drying, eg, shallow pools or water-filled containers, can resist desiccation for weeks or months.
All larvae are aquatic and, except for a few predaceous species, feed on detritus and micro-organisms. Pupae are aquatic and active, but nonfeeding. Adult life averages 3 weeks in summer, but Canadian species that overwinter as adults in protected places may live 8-9 months. One species may overwinter as larvae in water-filled leaves of the purple PITCHER PLANT. In some areas of Canada, these larvae may be ice-bound for 6-7 months. Most species are tropical.
Interaction with Humans
They are feared as transmitters of malaria, filariasis and dengue fever (affecting about 0.5 billion people annually). In Canada, mosquitos transmit human and equine encephalitis viruses and the NEMATODE causing dog heartworm.