Mosquito Larvae in Tampa
Mosquito larvae stage is an interesting time in the lifecycle of the mosquito. It brings back memories of when my boys were little, and they bring in a jar of little wigglers that they got out of the neighbors birdbath, or from coy pond in our backyard the never seemed to circulate right.
Mosquito larvae are commonly called wigglers and must live in water from 7 to 14 days depending on the water temperature. Larva must come to the surface at frequent intervals to obtain oxygen through a breathing tube called a siphon. Culex and Aedes larva, since they do not have a breathing tube must lie parallel to the water surface in order to get a supply of oxygen through a breathing
opening. During growth, larvae molt (sheds its skin) four times. The stages between molts are called instars. At the fourth instar, the larva reaches a length of almost a half an inch. When the fourth instar larva molts it becomes a pupa and moves on to the next stage of life.
Much of the activity that is provided by the mosquito control districts in the Tampa Bay area is related to the study and treatment of mosquito larvae. During this stage of life it is common for the districts to count and estimate mosquito populations based on the number of larvae found in certain areas.