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How do mosquitoes mate?Larvae of mosquitoes

In the eyes of people, sometimes mosquitoes are just pests

By conant abramPublished 2 years ago 5 min read

In the eyes of people, sometimes mosquitoes are just pests, while other times, mosquitoes do drive the spread of disease (such as malaria and Zika virus). But no matter what, male and female mosquitoes can not live without survival and reproduction, but how are they mated?

There are about 3,000 species of mosquitoes in existence around the world, their survival cycle is usually short, generally speaking, the male survival time of about a week, and the female is 100 days, so they have to take an effective strategy in the matter of mating.

In the tropics, all year round is the breeding season of mosquitoes, but in temperate regions, mosquitoes will breed at specific times. Laura Harrington, an entomologist at Cornell University, said that given the short survival time of mosquitoes, there is an overlap of generations among them, and mating behavior will occur between mosquitoes of different ages throughout the mating season.

Male mosquitoes will generally be ready to mate in the first few days of adulthood, but female mosquitoes are generally ready to mate when they emerge from their pupae.

One mosquito, Opifex, takes advantage of this sexual maturation of females, Harrington said, adding that males will stand by while females are still pupae and then wait for them to hatch and grab their breathing tubes to mate with them, although males have a way to tell if the pupae are female or male.

In other mosquitoes, males will look for females by CO2 cues next to their human hosts, and they will buzz around in the air doing a figure 8 dance while trying to intercept a female looking for lunch (males only suck nectar).

Swarming phenomenon and courtship

Other mosquitoes may choose to congregate together for mating, with males flying through the air forming nearly cylindrical black clouds. We do not yet know how these mosquitoes are gathered together, but they are often found in some strange environments, for example, on the exposed ground or the roof of a house.

And we don't know how the females find them, although this may involve the cooperation of multiple organs. And this, too, is one of the mysteries of biology.

When a female flies into a group of males, the males can distinguish between females by the frequency of their wing vibrations, which are lower than those of males. This way of distinguishing mating partners by wing vibration frequency also applies to other mosquitoes, and mating males and females will also coordinate their flight frequency by changing the rate of wing flutter and shaking their thorax before mating.

It is not clear whether the frequency of wing vibrations is related to body size, but as an important parameter in mating behavior, experiments have shown that among the "mating sounds" recorded, mosquitoes prefer the frequency of wing vibrations emitted by older suitors.

Although chemical signals (pheromones) may also have an important place in mating, however, researchers have not yet studied so much.

Surprisingly, only one species of mosquito is known to actively engage in courtship rituals. In South Africa's Sabethes cyaneus mosquito, males grow special structures on their feet that look like boots, and this organ is meant to impress females.

Officially into mating

Mosquitoes mate quickly, usually hardly more than 15 seconds, and usually, the mating takes place in the air, although sometimes on the ground as well.

The male's abdomen has a pincer-like structure that people call a clutch, which is designed to hold the female from running away. The male's reproductive organs are inserted into the female's reproductive tract after catching her.

Interestingly, the chemicals in the male's semen can have certain effects on the female, such as promoting egg production or enhancing hematophagy.

Males will continue to mate until they die, and most females will only mate once in their lifetime. They spend the rest of their lives storing sperm for egg-laying, and the number of eggs laid depends on the surrounding temperature and the female's bloodlust (blood is the source of energy for egg-laying).

Generally speaking, female mosquitoes can make one egg laying per blood intake. If the temperature is 28°C (82.4°F), the egg-laying cycle is about a week, and some mosquitoes can lay more than 200 eggs at a time, or even more.

Larvae of mosquitoes

Larvae of mosquitoes - tsetse

Mosquitoes from adult eggs to death will go through a total of four life stages, which are eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. Mosquito larvae, from the mosquito eggs hatching in water, the mosquito larvae are called tsetse.

The larvae of mosquitoes - tsetse have elongated, dark brown bodies, swim vertically up and down in the water, with broad thoraxes, heads, and abdomens, and swim with one body flexed and extended, commonly known as heel worms. Feeding on bacteria and single-celled algae in the water, they use straws to breathe air. Such as Culex (home mosquito) tsetse tail end with a long breathing tube, the end of the tube for opening the respirator, breathing, the body and the water surface at an angle, so that the breathing tube is perpendicular to the water surface, feeding on organic matter and microorganisms, the mouth of the bristles will produce water flow to the mouth; Anopheles (Anopheles) no breathing tube, tsetse tail end of the respirator opening on the surface of the body, breathing, the body, and the water surface parallel.

Mosquito larvae period to maintain 10 to 14 days later, tsetse molted four times after the development of pupae, the pupae and then feathered into adult mosquitoes.

Where do the mosquito larvae come from?

Experts say that the water is where the mosquitoes grow. Mosquitoes in the water lay eggs, the formation of larvae, and then become pupae, the development of adult mosquitoes, will leave the water, and fly away. Mosquitoes like to grow in sewage, but they have done experiments, even if it is clear water, mosquitoes will also lay eggs in it. So, there is standing water where mosquitoes are easy to produce. Faucet out of the water appears mosquito larvae, mosquitoes in the water to lay eggs, and in the waterworks of the water, that disinfection environment mosquitoes can not survive, and the water pipe is closed, and high water pressure, mosquitoes are generally not possible to go in. Therefore, mosquitoes are the most organic place to take advantage of, is the place of water storage, such as water supply water towers, pools, etc., as long as slightly not airtight, mosquitoes go in, now is the summer, mosquitoes breeding particularly fast.

Mosquito larvae are harmful to humans?

Experts remind us if these larvae with the water are cooked and eaten, no harm at all, if the raw insects are eaten into the mouth, there is no need to worry about the larvae will grow in the body, but because it comes with its bacteria, may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, but there is no harm. If accidentally eaten, the public need not worry. Because the harm of mosquitoes mainly comes from the adult after the bite, blood transmission of B brain, dengue fever, and other diseases. Therefore, the public should usually do a good job of mosquito prevention.


About the Creator

conant abram

I am a creative writer, in writing all kinds of horror stories, I like horror things

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  • Deena Thaddeus2 years ago

    Explore the mystery of animals together

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