GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A female mosquito Anopheles stephansi laying eggs on the surface of a pond. The eggs are delicate and spindle-shaped and are kept afloat by a girdle containing air chambers. They can be seen floating singly, often close together in large numbers. The larvae hatch and float horizontally just below the surface of the water. Their mouthparts bear combs of hairs which beat through the water filtering out algal spores, scattered pollen, bacteria and other microorganisms. They moult several times before pupating.
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