Emergence of an adult house mosquito from pupae

Emergence of an adult house mosquito from pupae

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This image is part of the sequence Animals: Metamorphosis of a mosquito with adult emerging from water

Credit: MARTIN DOHRN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Emergence of an adult, male northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens, from its pupal case on the surface of water. Mosquito larvae hatch on the water suface from clumps of eggs laid in the spring; although heavier than water, the larvae are able to remain suspended from surface through surface tension effects on a ring of hairs that surrounds the opening to the trachea (airway). Pupation occurs after 4 larval molts over a three week period. The imago (young adult) emerges after a few days, with its pupal case acting as a buoyancy platform before splitting. Air filling the foregut serves to force the imago out of its split case.

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Keywords: animal, culex pipiens, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, metamorphosis, mosquito, nature, surface tension, wildlife, zoology

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