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Mosquitoes make up one of the most widespread and abundant groups of insects in the world, and are responsible for spreading some of the worst diseases that afflict humans.


Any quiet water is a potential place for mosquitoes to lay eggs. A single cup of water may provide enough room for more than 1000 larvae to grow from eggs to adults. The eggs of most mosquito species can survive dry periods and other harsh conditions.

Some mosquito species have only one life cycle per year, whereas others may have several. In general, mosquito lifecycles take place as follows:

  • Each female may lay about 50 eggs, either singly or joined in rafts on the surface of still water.
  • Eggs may not hatch until suitable conditions are present, which sometimes may take a year or more to occur.
  • The larval stage lasts about 10 days, and the pupal stage only about 2 days. Adults usually live for about 30 days.

Only the female mosquito bites and feeds on blood, which she uses to make her eggs. The males energy needs are met by drinking nectar from flowers. Some females travel more than 30 kilometres (20 miles) in a day to look for a blood meal.


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Updated: Apr 8, 2009