Mosquito Lifecycle

Mosquitoes have four distinct stages in their life cycle. The time from egg to adult is largely dependent on the temperature, and can be as little as three days or less during the summer.

1. Egg

It is laid on water or on the ground where they remain until flooding occurs. Shortly after they are in water, the eggs will hatch into larvae.


Cycle 1

2. Larva

Initially they are very small but rapidly grow to a size of 0.25 inch or longer. The larger ones are easily seen wiggling in the water or resting at the surface, breathing through their air tubes. They will dive at the least disturbance of the water, even if a shadow is cast over them.


Cycle 2 - Larva

3. Pupa

It looks like a small seed resting in the water, but it will dive and move about rapidly with a jerking motion when disturbed. When fully developed, the adult will emerge from the pupal case ready to start the next generation. If the water dries up before the adult emerges, the mosquito will die.


Cycle 3 - Pupa

4. Adult

The female is the biting insect everyone is familiar with. She generally requires a blood meal before laying eggs that will hatch. She can fly several miles, if necessary, to get it.

Her life-span may be 3 weeks to several months, during which time she will lay up to 500 eggs in batches of 50 - 100. The male usually is found around the breeding site and lives on plant juices.


Cycle 4 - Adult