Life cycle image courtesy of: American Mosquito Control Association.
There are approximately 170 different mosquito species in the United States, with about only 50 of them found in Colorado. Within the Alamosa Mosquito Control Districtís boundaries 12 species have been identified, and only 7 of those species are commonly found throughout our summer months. However, these 7 mosquito species keep us very busy. One of which is Culex tarsalis. Historically, it is the most commonly populated species in our district, and more importantly a mosquito vector that carries West Nile virus. We are always on the lookout for other species that can migrate from the south; species that carry diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, Eastern equine encephalitis and of course West Nile virus (fever).
Below is a brief explanation of the mosquito life cycle. Please refer to the FAQ page for more information.
The mosquito has four life stages: egg, larvae, pupa and adult.
Females require a blood meal for egg production and nourishment
Females lay eggs singly or in raft-like masses
100-300 eggs produced in one laying
Females can lay eggs multiple times throughout a season
Commonly known as "wigglers"
Live in standing or slow moving water
Feed off algae, bacteria, and other microbes
Obtain oxygen from the water surface through a siphon
Shed their skin (molt) four times; called 1st - 4th Instar
From larvae they metamorphose into pupa
Non-feeding during this stage
Obtain oxygen from the water surface through respiratory trumpets