Mosquitoes are insects that belong to the order Diptera, the True Flies. Mosquitoes differ from other flies in that mosquito wings have scales. Female mosquitoes' mouth parts form a long antennae (proboscis) for piercing and sucking. Males differ from females by having feathery antennae and mouth parts not suitable for piercing skin. Blood-feeding females usually must ingest a blood meal in order to develop eggs. Saliva injected by females while engorging on blood causes itching. Males, as well as females, sip nectar, honeydew and fruit juices.
There are over 2500 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world; about 200 species occur in the United States with about 55 species of mosquitoes occurring in Texas and 77 species in Florida.
"Mosquito" is a Spanish word meaning "little fly". The Spanish originally called mosquitoes "musketas," and native Hispanic Americans called them "zancudos" meaning "long-legged". The two words apparently combined to form "mosquito" in Spanish North America and dates back to the late 1500's.
What is the correct plural form of the word mosquito? In Spanish it would be "mosquitos," but in English "mosquitoes" (with the "e") is correct.
Mosquitoes can be an annoying pest or a very serious problem. They interfere with work and spoil hours of leisure time. Their attacks on farm animals can cause sickness and decreased production. We best know mosquitoes for their role in the transmission of diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis and West Nile virus. Of these, malaria is by far the most important. According to recent data released by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, mosquitoes infect a minimum of 500 MILLION people with the disease each year, and more than two million -- mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa -- die of it.
The mosquito goes through four separate and distinct stages of its life cycle: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. Each stage is easily recognized by its special
appearance. The egg, larva and pupa stages depend on temperature and species characteristics to determine how long they take for development.