Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mosquito Larvae & Adults

Our school year is in full swing now. (I'll post our "first day" pics sometime.) We started out our nature studies this year with mosquitos. For some of our nature study we're following the Outdoor Hour Blog. There's some really great resources on that site.

We captured some larvae (and a pupa, though we didn't know it at the time) and an adult at my parents' house. We stuck the adult in the fridge to let her go to sleep so we could look at her.

Here are some really cool things we learned about mosquitos.
--The larvae have two tubes at the end of their tails -- a breathing tube and a swimming organ.
--Their head is hairy and those little hairs create a small current so to sort of "wave" the food in.
--Only females bite.
--Only females buzz/ sing.
--The males have very big and hairy antennae so as to hear the females' songs.
--The females tap blood to help nurture the eggs.
--The females lay their eggs in a big formation called an egg raft.

And here are some pics & video we took with our Zorb microscope.



And our adult:

And, since these guys are pests, my plan was for us to poor the water out, thereby leaving the larva to die; however, Emelye insisted that we not kill "baby mosquitos." So, we're waiting for them all to mature to adults . . .


Shawna said...

We just had a science lesson with your blog. Thanks for catching those little things so we didn't have to.:) Scamp's asking for mosquito eggs now.

Greyson said...

Tell Scamp we may have some at some point. I set out a tray of water where the ducks can't get it. I'm hoping some mosquito finds it irresistible!! I'd like to see an egg raft.