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Information On Mosquitoes

 

Mosquito Information

planet mosquito

The Mosquito: Order-Diptera

Mosquitos have been coming to man and have been a nuisance for millions of years, yet it is only recently that man has begun to study the mosquito.

Mosquito belong to the suborder of diptera known as Nematocera. This suborder includes the midges, sand-flies, black-flies, moth-flies, and harlequin- flies, mosquitos belonging to the family Culicidae.

The 2700 or so species of mosquitos are arranged altogether in 34 genera. The Culicidae are divided into 3 subfamilies: the Anophelinae, including the well-know genus Anopheles, many species of which are respondsible for the transmission of malaria; the Toxorhynchitinae, the large larvae of which eat other mosquito larvae; the Culicini which, with about 2000 species, are divided into two tribes: the Culicini and the Sabethini. The culicine mosquitos include such well known genera as Culex, Aedes and Masonia, the sabethines include Sabethes, Wyeomyia and Malaya.

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In flight the mosquito has control over speed and direction and can make split-second adjustments to its aerodynamics in order to cope with the ever-changing situation. It is able to hover or to take sudden evasive action. To a mosquito flying through rain each drop must seem like a giant missile several times its own weight, yet the insect can fly safely through and still land dry.

A mosquitos behavior owes much to a fixed pattern of response which it inherits along with its coloring, its shape and ornamentation.

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Mosquitos spend their early days in the water. Broadly speaking there are two types of aquatic animal: those that live in water but get their oxygen from the atmospheric air, and those that live in water and take up oxygen from the water itself. Mosquito larvae and whales belong to the former type; both are perfectly adapted for an aquatic life but must make periodic visits to the surface in order to rid themselves of accumulated carbon dioxide and to take in fresh oxygen. Otherwise both live and feed wholly in the water and neither survives long on land. Sooner or later the larvae must undergo a remarkable transition into a flying mosquito. During its aquatic life it must develop through 4 larvae stages or stadia, molting at each stadia change. These adaptations that the mosquito must endure to to go from a aquatic life to a terrestrial existence, is largely outside the scope of this page.

 


 


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