Mosquito Click to enlarge image
Mozzie on human skin - feeding. u000d u000d Image created for climate change exhibition u000d Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Super Family
    Culicoidea
    Order
    Diptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Phylum
    Euarthropoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia

Mosquitoes

There are over 350 species of mosquitoes, ranging in size from 4 mm - 6 mm, found throughout Australia and are often encountered by humans due to simple fact both parasite and host live in urban areas.

Feeding and Diet

The female mosquitoes eat animal blood and the males feed on nectar

Life cycle

A few days after a blood meal, female mosquitoes lay about 200 eggs on any water surface-even small water bodies such as bottom trays of potplants are suitable. Most species produce egg 'rafts' where many eggs are cemented together, floating until they hatch after two to three days. Although they live in water, the larvae known as 'wrigglers' breathe air and come equipped with their own snorkelling equipment. Attached to their abdomen is a siphon, which they use when they come to the surface to breathe. These make great food for fish in ponds and tanks and are also eaten by the elephant mosquito larvae.

Females live for about a month while males often live for only a week.

Tips to reduce habitats for mosquitoes

Reduce the number of water bodies in your outdoor areas; such as bottom trays of potplants, buckets, wheelbarrows, paddling pools.

There are many commercially available synthetic and natural repellents that have varying degrees of success.