How do mosquitoes reproduce and hatch?
The different species that make up the animal world have developed their own reproductive strategies, adapted to guarantee their perpetuity. These forms of reproduction are closely related to several aspects, such as the anatomical and physiological characteristics of each group, in addition to the habitat conditions that undoubtedly impact the reproductive process.
Type of reproduction of mosquitoes
Mosquitoes, also known as mosquitoes, have internal sexual reproduction so that the male deposits sperm directly into the female, who accumulates them in the sperm library and uses it for the continuous fertilization of eggs. A curious thing during mosquitoes’ reproduction is that in these insects a courtship occurs, which we will see in detail in the next section.
How do mosquitoes reproduce?
For courtship that will lead to reproduction, some species of males create swarms in which they fly in all directions to attract females, on the other hand, other species do not form these groups, but contact occurs directly between the two individuals. When swarming occurs, the females approach and choose the male for copulation, which usually takes place outside the group and lasts less than a minute. Get to know all types of mosquitoes in this other article.
Males can inseminate multiple females while they are monogamous, meaning they will only be left with a single male. This is because, after insemination, the male secretes a substance that sexually inactivates the female for life, so she will no longer be receptive. After fertilization, males die after a few days, on the other hand, females must feed to obtain nutrients and continue with the development of eggs; in the case of hematophagy, they directly seek out a person or animal to extract the necessary blood and oogenesis can occur.
How are mosquitoes born?
Mosquitoes lay eggs, which have been previously fertilized by the male inside the female. After adequate feeding, the female starts the process of oogenesis or development of eggs and the laying will occur between two and four days after ingestion of blood, in the case of hematophagous species.
Subsequently, the embryonic development that takes place inside the egg, under optimal environmental conditions, will generate the larvae. between two and four days after oviposition. Subsequently, the pupal stage will occur, where the metamorphosis will occur so that the adult finally emerges.
Thus, mosquitoes correspond to the group of holometabolites, that is, they have a four-phase reproductive cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult, through which they develop metamorphosis. Let’s learn more about each of these phases to better understand how mosquitoes are born:
Stage 1: egg
A female can deposit between 50 and 200 approximately, so here we can see an excellent strategy in terms of the number of oviposition, which undoubtedly seeks to generate as many individuals as possible. In fact, this is a peculiar characteristic of insects in terms of their reproduction.
Mosquitoes can lay eggs in several ways, However, you can group this process in three general ways:
- Single in the water.
- In groups floating in the water.
- On surfaces that are periodically flooded. The latter case corresponds to species that produce eggs that can withstand the absence of water to some extent, but which end up needing it, because all larvae are of the aquatic type.
¿ Where do mosquitoes lay their eggs? ? Mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs in calm bodies of water, without large currents, or on a substrate such as soil or plants, which best guarantees their development. However, when doing so in the latter option, these spaces must be submitted to immersion, as the larvae necessarily require the aquatic environment for their development and pass to the pupal stage, after which the adult emerges. habits. On the other hand, some species put them in water with certain currents, but do so on the banks or where vegetation provides protection.
Mosquito larvae are characterized by being wormlike, that is, they have the appearance of a worm. As we mentioned they are of aquatic habits and breathe directly from the air. At this stage they are active in feeding, which they can do thanks to their jaws, for which they scrape surfaces, filter water or even feed on larvae of other species, consuming debris, microorganisms and even small invertebrates.
At this stage, temperature plays a decisive role in the development of larvae, each species has an optimal range below which the individual can die or go into hibernation: above that, they always end up perishing.
It corresponds to the last aquatic phase of mosquitoes and is characterized by being a stage of almost total immobility (unless disturbed), where the individual does not eat, but all energy consumption is intended for the occurrence of anatomical and physiological changes, which generate an entirely different adult for the larva. At this stage, they develop greater tolerance to desiccation and even certain chemicals.
At optimum temperatures, pupa development can take between two and five days. When the process is about to end, the pupa usually moves at night to places as calm and protected as possible in the water, it starts to absorb a greater amount of air so that the pressure that builds up breaks the cuticle that covers it. an adult can finally emerge.
Stage 4: adult
When it emerges, the adult needs some time to dry completely, especially the wings, which it does on the surface of the water, where it also has just hardened. After one to two days, adults are sexually mature, although the process occurs earlier in females than in males.
mosquito breeding season
Environmental conditions are decisive for the reproduction of mosquitoes so that the presence of water and temperatures with a tendency to warm are two important aspects for the reproduction of these insects. In this sense, for example, in countries where temperatures are very low and reach up to 0 or C, and rainfall is subject to seasonality, mosquito species that inhabit these regions usually go through a phase known as diapause. This is a physiological state of inactivity that eggs and larvae pass through, which they overcome when unfavourable conditions end.
On the other hand, in those countries where temperatures are hot almost all year round and the presence of water is not so limited, as is the case in tropical regions, mosquitoes can reproduce more constantly, as environmental conditions are favourable to this process. Thus, in tropical areas, species with many generations are usually found in the same year.
How long do mosquitoes live?
Mosquitoes, as we’ve seen, go through different stages, from egg to adulthood, but how long do mosquitoes live in total? Let’s know how long each phase lasts:
- Eggs: between 2 and 4 days after laying.
- Larva: about 5 days.
- Pupa: between 2 and 5 days.
- Adult: males die a few days after reproduction (from 3 to 5 approximately), while females are longer-lived, as they must feed properly so that the development of eggs occurs and lay the eggs. these can last up to two weeks.
The life of mosquitoes depends on many environmental factors, which are essential for them. In this sense, temperature, humidity, food and both the availability and conditions of the environment for laying eggs determine the life and development of mosquitoes.
In general, male mosquitoes live 10-15 days, while females can manage to live up to 24 days. It is important to note that these ranges are approximate and general, as there are variations between some species.
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