Characteristics of Mosquitoes (Including Midges)
Mosquito adults are small, flying, midgelike insects. Female mosquitoes can be differentiated from similar insects by the presence of a long slender proboscis that is adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood, and long slender wings that are covered with small scales.
In the immature stages, called larvae or wigglers, mosquitoes are usually black or dark brown and occur in nonmoving or nearly still water. Most mosquito larvae have a distinctive siphon or air tube at the rear of their bodies. The next stage is the pupal stage; pupae, called tumblers, are also aquatic and are small, roundish forms, usually black in color.
Up to the present, we have found 70 kinds of mosquitoes in Hong Kong. The most common kinds are Aedes Albopictus, Anopheles Minimus, Anopheles Jeyporiensis, Culex Pipiens Quinquefasciatus, Aedes Togoi and Culex Tritaeniorhynchus.
The life cycles of mosquitoes vary widely from species to species. Some female mosquitoes lay single eggs on water surfaces; others lay single eggs on moist soil where later flooding is likely. Still other species lay batches of eggs, called rafts, 100 or more at a time on water surfaces. Eggs deposited on water surfaces usually hatch within a day or so, but eggs laid on soil surfaces do not hatch until flooding occurs, which may be months or even years later