Mosquito Appearance & Identification
Mosquitoes belong to the same group as the true flies, Diptera. As such, they have a single pair of wings. They typically have long, thin legs and a head featuring a prominent proboscis. Mosquito bodies and wings most often are covered in tiny scales, with adult sizes ranging from 3 to 9 mm.
Mosquito Behavior, Diet & Habits
Mosquitoes are best known for the habits of the adult females which often feed on blood to help generate their eggs. The lesser-known side is that the adult mosquito, male and female, also feed on nectar from flowers. Their immature stages are usually located in standing, preferably stagnant, water. The larvae feed on a variety of materials, depending on species. Most consume organic flotsam and tiny aquatic organisms. However, some species are predatory and will consume other mosquitoes. Adult mosquitoes prefer to be most active from dusk until dawn but can become active with sufficient cloud cover or in dark shady areas. They do not prefer to be active in the sunshine since they may desiccate and die.
Mosquitoes or Flies?
Mosquitoes can be confused with flies. Mosquitoes have long legs and a long proboscis or “nose” that female mosquitoes use to “bite” people and pets to draw blood, also needed to lay eggs. Most flies won’t bite and even long-legged flies are usually much smaller than mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are pesky pests and can spread diseases such as West Nile Virus, dengue and malaria. More commonly, though, mosquitoes threaten family events more than their health.