Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

BugGuide is a National Moth Week Partner. How to add your National Moth Week 2021 photos. July 17-25.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Previous events


Family Culicidae - Mosquitoes

Mosquito with mites - Ochlerotatus canadensis - male mosquito - Mansonia titillans - female  Mosquitoe - female Mosquitoe - Culex - female Detail of Anopheles wing patterns - Anopheles - female Psorophora ciliata - female Mosquito Mosquito - Ochlerotatus diantaeus - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Infraorder Culicomorpha (Mosquitoes and Midges)
Family Culicidae (Mosquitoes)
Other Common Names
wigglers (larvae), tumblers (pupae)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Classification of Aedini also reflected in(1)(2)
Explanation of Names
Culicidae Meigen 1818
mosquito 'small fly'
174 spp. in 14 genera in our area(3), >3700 spp. in 46 genera and 145 subgenera worldwide, arranged in 2 subfamilies(2)(4) [many subgenera, esp. in the Aedini, are often treated as separate genera -- cf.(1)]
3-15 mm
Wings with scales on veins and along margins; legs and proboscis long; antennae with 6 or more segments, plumose on males and short-haired on females
keys to NA spp. in (6)
Pictorial keys to adult and larval mosquitoes (Luttig & Stojanovich) (dead link)
Cosmopolitan; Maps of Texas' 85 spp. (7)
Larvae are aquatic, developing mainly in standing water (temporary pools, water in discarded containers, saltmarshes, treeholes, etc.); some species of Anopheles lay eggs in very slow moving streams/brooks.
Mostly spring and summer in temperate climates
Male and female adults feed on nectar and plant juices and only females feed on blood because a blood meal is usually required for development of eggs. Hosts may include amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals.
Click here to learn how mosquitos bloodfeed.
Larvae feed on algae, protozoans, and organic debris filtered from the water. However, a few species are predaceous on other mosquito larvae
Life Cycle
The eggs are laid either on the surface of standing water or above the waterline in areas subject to flooding; eggs hatch in spring and larvae complete 4 stages of development before pupating; larva stage may last from less than a week to more than a month, depending mostly on temperature and species; pupa stage typically lasts less than a week; adults emerge directly from pupae at the water surface; from one to several generations per year, depending on species and latitude.
Eggs (1), egg rafts (2), larvae (3-4), pupa (5), adults: female (6-7), male (8-9)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Female mosquitoes are vectors of major diseases, including malaria [caused by a protozoan], yellow fever [virus], filariasis [nematode], dengue [virus], and certain types of encephalitis [virus].
Carbon dioxide exhaled by animals attracts female mosquitoes looking for a blood meal.