Mosquito Biology

Mosquitoes are small, long-legged, two-winged insects belonging to the order Diptera (di=two, and ptera=wings; Greek origination) and the family Culicidae (small, midge-like flies). Worldwide, there are over 3,000 known species and over 50 of those species are present in Indiana. Mosquitoes develop through four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

Life Cycle

The sites that female mosquitoes select to lay eggs determine where mosquito larvae occur. For all species water is required for the duration of larval and pupal development. Both larva and pupa are true aquatic stages, and neither can survive without water.

Mosquito Breeding Sites

Water accumulations used as mosquito breeding sites have three common characteristics: the water is stationary or very slow-moving, it has suitable food source for larvae, and there is some protection from wind and waves. The water may vary from fresh to highly polluted and represent a broad spectrum of dissolved chemical concentrations. Common larval habitats in Indiana are temporary pools caused by snow melt, rain, or stream overflow.

Additional Information

For more highly detailed information about the mosquito, view our downloadable profile (PDF).