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Mosquito larva
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Mosquito - larva
See also: adult | damage

Scientific Name: Culicidae: several species

Status: serious blood-sucking pest that can transmit diseases

Damaging Stage: adult (female)

Biology: Most mosquitoes are 1/4 to 1/2 inch long and have only two wings, both covered in scales. Mosquito larvae are usually black or brown and are called “wrigglers” because of their distinctive swimming style. First instar larvae are practically invisible to the naked eye, but mature larvae can be seen when they come to the surface of calm water. They breathe through a long siphon at the surface of the water. Larvae are slightly C-shaped with an enlarged front end.

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs together in rafts on the surface of water. Most eggs hatch into larvae in about two days. The larvae live in the water for two weeks until they pupate. Mosquito larvae primarily feed on organic material, bacteria, and microscopic plants in the water. The adults emerge in two days. Most mosquito species overwinter as eggs.