Globular head, a large part of the surface of which is taken up by the compound eyes; a pair of antennae, Mouthparts form a long thin projecting proboscis which in the female are designed for piercing.
Metamorphosis is complete with egg, larval, pupal and adult stages. There are about 3000 species of mosquitoes in the world.
The mosquito mates within 48 hours of emergence from the pupa. The female only mates once in her lifetime, because she is able to store the sperm in sacs within her body and fertilize subsequent batches of eggs herself. The eggs fertilized from stored sperm just before they are laid, between 30-350 eggs, are laid in each batch, depending on the species.
Most mosquitoes feed from sunset onwards, both sexes feed on nectar or fruits for sustenance but the female usually requires the high protein content of blood to produce eggs and soon after mating she will go in search of a blood meal. The female has powerful sensory organs which are able to detect body smell, carbon dioxide, warmth and moisture emanating from the host; she takes approximately her own bodyweight in blood at each feed.
The length of the complete life cycle is very dependent on temperature and can range from 10 days to 6 months or longer in those species which overwinter as larvae.
Importance as a pest:
They can transmit many diseases to both humans and animals, e.g. malaria, filariasis, yellow fever, encephalitis, and dengue fever. Only a few species of mosquitoes are implicated as vectors of hu