Mosquitos (picture)

- only females drink blood, males drink flower nectar

- countless numbers of mosquitos, each with slightly different life cycles

- most (though not all) require water for reproductive cycle

-Egg : Eggs are laid one at a time and they float on the surface of the water. Some species, egg rafts, some separate eggs, some in soon to be flooded places, it varies wildly -Larva : The larva (larvae - plural) live in the water and come to the surface to breathe. They shed their skin four times growing larger after each molting. Most larvae have siphon tubes for breathing and hang from the water surface. On the fourth molt the larva changes into a pupa. (Drawings)

-Pupa: The pupal stage is a resting, non-feeding stage. This is the time the mosquito turns into an adult. It takes about two days before the adult is fully developed. When development is complete, the pupal skin splits and the mosquito emerges as an adult. -Adult: The newly emerged adult rests on the surface of the water for a short time to allow itself to dry and all its parts to harden. Also, the wings have to spread out and dry properly before it can fly. -The egg, larvae and pupae stages depend on temperature and species characteristics as to how long it takes for development. For instance, Culex tarsalis might go through its life cycle in 14 days at 70 F and take only 10 days at 80 F. Also, some species have naturally adapted to go through their entire life cycle in as little as four days or as long as one month. -Prevention–must get rid of standing water! Give ferals fresh water everyday!