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Soil & Water Conservation Society of Metro Halifax (SWCSMH)
Updated: October 09, 2013
- Superphylum Arthropoda
- (jointed-legged metazoan animals [Gr, arthron = joint; pous = foot])
- Phylum Entoma
- Subphylum Uniramia
- (L, unus = one; ramus = branch, referring to the unbranched nature of the appendages)
- Superclass Hexapoda
- (Gr, hex = six, pous = foot)
- Class Insecta
- (L, insectum meaning cut into sections)
- Subclass Ptilota
- Infraclass Neopterygota
- Order Diptera
Although the Culicidae is a relatively small
family (only some 3,065 species world-wide), it is the best known of
all the Diptera and, in many parts of the world, mosquitoes are the
most familiar type of insect to Man. The reasons for this revolve
around the blood-sucking habits of the females and the associated
spread of many debilitating and often fatal disease organisms,
particularly those responsible for malaria, dengue and yellow fever.
Apart from the diseases spread throughout the settlements in warm
climates, in temperate and high latitude regions these suburban
invasions create considerable human discomfort from their bites. The
family Culicidae is divided into three subfamilies, the Anophelinae, the Culicinae and the Toxorhynchitinae.
Although populations of certain
northern species may be very large, diversity in temperate regions is
generally not high, for example only 74 species occur in Canada
(compared with 520 species of Tipulidae and 546 species of Trichoptera).
Life History, Habitat and Feeding
Mosquito larvae are all aquatic and take in
atmospheric oxygen at the water surface through spiracles borne on the
dorsal side of abdominal segment 8. Mosquitoes are typical
holometabolous insects, passing through four life cycle stages: egg; 4
larval instars; pupa; and adult.
Many temperate and higher
latitude species have only one generation per year, but some others
have as many as time, temperature, food resources and rainfall permit.
In the tropics and subtropics, most species are multivoltine with life
cycles as short as two weeks. Species rarely overwinter as larvae, but
one Canadian species does so frozen solid in ice.
References and web URLs:
- Narf, R. 1997. Midges, bugs, whirligigs
and others: The distribution of insects in Lake "U-Name-It". Lakeline.
N. Am. Lake Manage. Soc. 16-17,57-62.
- Peckarsky, B.L., P.R. Fraissinet, M.A. Penton, and D.J. Conklin,
Jr. 1990. Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of Northeastern North America.
Cornell Univ. Press. xii,442pp.
- Williams, D.D., and Feltmate, B.W. 1992. Aquatic Insects. CAB International. ISBN: 0-85198-782-6. xiii, 358p.
- Mandaville, S.M. 1999.
Bioassessment of Freshwaters Using Benthic Macroinvertebrates-A Primer.
First Ed. Project E-1, Soil & Water Conservation Society of Metro
Halifax. viii, Chapters I-XXVII, Appendices A-D. 244p.
- For the entire Report, download all the files in the subdirectory, Primer1
- Chapter XIV: Family Culicidae (mosquitoes)
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