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Family Culicidae - Mosquitoes

Mosquito - Ochlerotatus - male Tree hole mosquito - Ochlerotatus triseriatus - male mosquito from rain barrel - Ochlerotatus japonicus - female Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, resting on a flower - Aedes albopictus - female Unknown Larvae  Male Asian Rock Pool Mosquito - Ochlerotatus japonicus - male Mosquito ? - Ochlerotatus japonicus Aedes albopictus ? on Eupatorium havanense - Aedes albopictus
Classification
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)
Pronunciation
kyoo-LISS-ih-dee
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Classification of Aedini also reflected in(1)(2)
Explanation of Names
Culicidae Meigen 1818
mosquito 'small fly'
Numbers
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)]
Size
3-15 mm
Identification
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)
Range
Cosmopolitan; Maps of Texas' 85 spp. (7)
Habitat
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.
Season
Mostly spring and summer in temperate climates
Food
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
Remarks
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.
Print References
(8)