Mosquitoes represent a group of about 3500 species of small insects from the fly family. Mosquitoes diverged from other insects about 226 million years ago.
Like all flies, mosquitoes go through four stages in their lifecycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The first three stages—egg, larva, and pupa—are largely aquatic. These stages typically last 5 to 14 days. The period of development from egg to adult varies among species and is strongly influenced by temperature, but the average time from birth to adult is 40 days.
Male mosquitoes do not suck blood (only the females). Instead, they feed on nectar and other sources of sugar. The female needs blood in order to reproduce. After getting blood, the female will rest for a few days while the blood is digested, and eggs are developed. This process depends on the temperature, but usually takes two to three days in tropical conditions. Once the eggs are fully developed, the female lays them and resumes host-seeking. The cycle repeats itself until the female dies.
Mosquitoes have a slender segmented body, a pair of wings, three pairs of long hair-like legs, feathery antennae, and elongated mouth parts.