Mosquito life cycle
Watch the complete metamorphosis of a mosquito. Find science explorations and other good stuff for kids, parents, …
Mosquitoes go through four stages of development
in their lives. They undergo complete metamorphosis.
Culex mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface
of fresh water or in areas that will be temporarily
wet, like flood plains. The eggs float alone
or in groups that look like rafts. Eggs laid
during winter can survive to hatch in the
Mosquito eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae
live at the surface of the water and breathe
through a tube. As the larvae grow, they shed
their skin a few times.
If mosquito larvae need to hide from predators,
they can swim and dive below the water's surface.
Mosquito larvae live a few days to a few weeks
before they turn into pupae. They stop feeding
just before they turn into pupae.
The pupae live at the water's surface and
breathe through two small tubes. Mosquito
pupae do not eat, but they are active. They
tumble below the surface of the water when
disturbed. They remain in the pupal stage
anywhere from one to a few days, depending
on the water temperature.
While inside the pupa, the larva transforms
into an adult.
The adult breaks out of the pupal case
and crawls onto the surface of the water.
It rests while its exoskeleton hardens. Later
it crawls to a safe place out of the water
and spreads its wings out to dry to prepare
for life on land. The mosquito is now a flying
Adult mosquitoes mate to produce eggs for
the next generation.
Adult female mosquitoes can live from many
days to weeks, while adult male mosquitoes
usually live just a few days after they mate.