Bug of the Month May 2010: Mosquito Larvae

May 1, 2010
With spring upon us, it might be a good time to take precautions against the unwanted cultivation of Mosquito Larvae.  Mosquitoes will proliferate in any body of standing water, including the bird bath, rain barrel, empty tin can, vernal pool, abandoned swimming pool or watering can.  At our own Los Angeles offices, we have two bird baths and a few large containers of water we use to water our plants, and they inevitably become the breeding ground for Mosquitoes.  Luckily our Angelfish love Mosquito Larvae, so we catch them on a daily basis and feed them to our pets.

Mosquito Larva

The Mosquito Larvae are called Wrigglers because of the way they propel themselves through the water, and the Mosquito Pupae (none visible in these images) are called Tumblers because of their head over breathing tube manner of tumbling through the water.  Mosquito Larvae and Pupae gather at the surface of the water with their breathing tubes taking oxygen from the air.  As soon as they sense a change in light or movement overhead, they quickly wriggle and tumble to to bottom of the basin where they wait for up to several minutes before returning to the surface.  We quickly net them at the surface and then wait for their return before attempting to capture more.

Mosquito Larvae

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