Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Pest Management
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 14, 2005
Publication Date: March 27, 2006
Citation: Kline, D.L. 2006. Mosquito biology. In: Pimentel, D., editor. Encyclopedia of pest management. New York, NY:Taylor & Francis Group. p.350-352. ISBN 978-0-8247-0517-6.
This article summarizes current knowledge of mosquito biology. It presents basic information on mosquito morphology, geographic distribution, systematic classification, life cycles, host preference, and public and veterinary health importance. Mosquitoes belong to the order Diptera, family Culicidae. There are about 3200 recognized species worldwide. Mosquitoes occur in practically every region of every continent, except Antarctica. They develop in an extremely broad range of biotic communities. The mosquito life cycle involves four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The larval and pupal stages only occur in water. Adults of both sexes feed regularly on sugar sources, but only females feed on vertebrate blood. Many species are specific in their host preference for birds, mammals, or cold-blooded vertebrates such as reptiles and frogs. Several important species groups exist which are capable of transmitting pathogens, which cause malaria, yellow fever, lymphatic filariasis and dengue to humans, various encephalitis to humans and horses, and heartworm to dogs.