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Mosquito Life Cycle

Adult stage
The adult mosquito is the start and finish of the life cycle. The male mosquito's job is to fertilize females so they can reproduce. The female's job is to find a blood meal which will enable her to produce eggs and propagate. A female can lay thousands of eggs during the course of her life.

Egg stage
Eggs can be laid directly on the water's surface (singly or in egg rafts), or in the case of some species, on the side of containers or in grass or leaves alongside ditches or lake beds or any other area that may one day be immersed in water. Some species' eggs can remain dormant for several months waiting for water to complete their life cycle.

Mosquito Life Cycle: Adult - Eggs - Larvae (Wigglers) - Pupa

Once the eggs have water, it takes approximately 2-3 days for them to develop and hatch into larvae (time can vary due to temperature or other conditions).

Larval stage
Most species of larvae breathe at the water's surface through a siphon tube at its tail end. Some species lay flat against the water surface, while others pierce the root of submerged plants and breathe through the root system.

All larvae are voracious feeders, needing plenty of nourishment to develop to the next stage. Larvae or "wigglers" can be seen resting at the water's surface or wiggling downward as they forage for food or attempt to hide from predators. It is during this stage that larvicide treatments are administered because they are consumed while the larvae are eating.

It takes approximately 4-6 days for larvae to complete the four instar process (molts). As with the egg stage, time frame can vary due to temperature and some other conditions.

Pupal Stage
A fourth instar larva curls up into the last of the immature stages, the pupa or "tumbler." Pupae do not eat, they float at the top of the water, breathing through a tiny little tube. Like wigglers, they will tumble to the water's bottom to avoid predators, but need to return to the surface to continue breathing.

The pupal stage lasts about 7 days, the final process of development being the adult mosquito emerging from the pupal shell. The adult mosquito remains on the water's surface for a short period, drying its wings and then flying off to eat and mate.