Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Culicidae - Mosquitoes

Mosquito - Male Culex? - Culex quinquefasciatus - male Elephant Mosquito - Toxorhynchites rutilus - male Asian Rock Pool Mosquito - female Mosquito or large Midge Culicidae - female 2018-09-21 Brown mosquito - Anopheles Male mosquito - male Ochlerotatus sticticus - 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 (5)
Cosmopolitan; Maps of Texas' 85 spp. (6)
Larvae aquatic, mainly in standing water (temporary pools, water in discarded containers, saltmarshes, treeholes, etc.); some Anopheles spp. 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 are tetrapods. • Larvae feed on algae, protozoans, and organic debris filtered from water; a few species prey on other mosquito larvae
Life Cycle
The eggs laid on water surface or above the waterline in areas subject to flooding; eggs hatch in spring; 4 larval instars; larva stage may last from less than a week to over a month, depending on temperature and species; pupal stage typically lasts under a week; adults emerge from pupae at water surface; one to several generations per year.
Eggs egg rafts larvae pupa adult female male9