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16 Types of Mosquitos: Species, Facts and Photos

It's interesting to note how little we know about a common pest like the mosquito. Understanding the different types of mosquito species can help expand our knowledge of this creature we often view with irritation. 

Each type presents a unique story of adaptation and survival through distinct behaviors, varied diets, and specialized habitats. In this article, we will explore the intriguing details of these insects, providing a well-rounded picture of the mosquito and its characteristics beyond its bites. 

General Information about Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes have a slender body, long, spindly legs, and a proboscis that allows them to feed on blood. Interestingly, only female mosquitoes bite because they need blood to produce healthy eggs. The female mosquito can drink her entire body weight in a single blood meal.

They lay their eggs on the surface of stagnant water, where the eggs hatch into larvae that feed on aquatic detritus. 

Mosquitoes that bite but don’t spread germs are nuisance mosquitoes. While some species of mosquitoes spread diseases, others are crucial in pollinating particular ecosystems. Moreover, their absence could have negative consequences that disrupt food chains.

Related Read: Mosquito Facts.

Mosquito Classification

Mosquitoes belong to the family Culicidae, a branch of the larger Diptera order, which includes over 3,500 species. The Culicidae family is divided into two main subfamilies: the Anophelinae and the Culicinae. 

The Anophelinae subfamily is home to the Anopheles genus, which is responsible for malaria transmission. These mosquitoes have adapted to human habitats in sub-Saharan Africa and prefer to lay their eggs in shallow water. 

On the other hand, the Culicinae subfamily includes Aedes, Culex, and other genera. The Aedes mosquito bites during the day and has black and white stripes. Meanwhile, Culex mosquitoes are nocturnal and found in the tropics to temperate regions.

16 Types of Mosquitoes

1. Malaria Mosquitoes (Anopheles gambiae)

Malaria Mosquitoes
Photo by Jim Gathany on Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Malaria mosquitos, or Anopheles gambiae, are significant pests that directly impact human health. These insects are part of a group known to transmit malaria, especially the dangerous Plasmodium falciparum.

Differentiation among the species in this complex is challenging due to morphological similarities, with some species also able to adapt to both saltwater and freshwater conditions. The female mosquitoes take blood meals, directly linking the human and mosquito hosts during the parasite's life cycle.

The environment strongly influences this cycle; for example, increased temperatures speed up parasite growth inside mosquitos. Anopheles longevity and inherent susceptibility to Plasmodium additionally shape their capacity to transmit diseases.

Malaria is transmitted solely by female Anopheles mosquitoes. Out of the roughly 430 Anopheles species, only about 30-40 actually act as vectors. 

Malaria mosquitoes are the first ones whose genomes were fully sequenced1. Understanding these insects can assist in devising appropriate mosquito control strategies, considering their susceptibility to insecticides and preferred feeding locations.

Lastly, the Malaria mosquito is, regrettably, a transmitter of the parasite Wuchereria bancrofti, associated with elephantiasis.

2. Asian Tiger Mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus)

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes
Photo by James Gathany on Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

The Asian Tiger Mosquito initially came from Southeast Asia but has now spread worldwide. It features distinctive black and white stripes and is active during the day, which is unusual for mosquitoes. 

Moreover, it can lay eggs in various sources of stagnant water, making it well-suited to urban and rural environments. 

However, humans can get mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, Zika virus, and Chikungunya virus from them.

3. Yellow Fever Mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti)

Yellow Fever Mosquitoes
Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Yellow Fever Mosquito can transmit viral diseases, including yellow fever, dengue, Zika virus, and chikungunya. It is active during the day and feeds on human blood. 

Moreover, it can thrive in diverse environments across the globe, breeding in any water-holding container, including bowls, buckets, or flower pots.

In 2007, Yellow fever mosquitoes were the second to have a complete genome sequence2, which will aid in devising control measures.

4. Salt Marsh Mosquitoes (Aedes sollicitans)

Salt Marsh Mosquitoes commonly live in coastal and salt marsh areas. They can survive in various temperatures and salinity levels. 

Additionally, the mosquitoes lay their eggs in damp soil. They prefer salt marshes or tidal flats, and the eggs can remain dormant for up to a year until the water triggers their hatching. 

Salt Marsh Mosquitoes feed on nectar for energy, but females require protein-rich diets for egg production. They can travel up to 40 miles for a blood meal. 

However, they can also carry several diseases, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis and dog heartworm.

5. Eastern Saltmarsh Mosquitoes (Aedes taeniorhynchus)

The Eastern Saltmarsh Mosquito inhabits the American East Coast’s salt marshes. This mosquito, which ranges from 4 to 7 mm in size, is black or dark brown and has white bands on its legs and body. It can cover up to 40 miles from their breeding site.

Moreover, this mosquito also carries diseases such as Eastern equine encephalitis and dog heartworm.

6. Asian Bush Mosquitoes (Aedes japonicus)

 Asian Bush Mosquitoes
Photo by James Gathany on Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

The Asian Bush Mosquito is a black and white striped mosquito species originating in East Asia's temperate zones and spreading across North America, Europe, and parts of the Pacific. It prefers to inhabit small water-filled containers. 

Unlike other mosquito species, the females of the Asian Bush Mosquito do not solely rely on blood for reproduction. They will only bite for a blood meal to increase their egg production. 

Although it is not currently known for spreading diseases, it can transmit illnesses such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, and chikungunya.

7. Floodwater Mosquitoes (Aedes vexans)

floodwater Mosquitoes
Photo by Katja Schulz on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The floodwater mosquito lives in almost every corner of the world except for Antarctica and the far north. They are aggressive biters that are most active during dawn and dusk. 

Moreover, the adult mosquitoes lay eggs in moist soil in flood-prone areas. The eggs can survive dry spells for up to a year, hatching only when conditions are favorable. After heavy rains, the eggs can hatch within 48 hours, leading to a rapid population boom. 

The females fly several miles from their birthing grounds to find a blood meal necessary for their egg-laying process. Meanwhile, the male mosquitoes prefer plant juices and nectar. 

Although their bites can be a nuisance to humans, they are a vital food source for many insect-eating species, such as birds and bats.

8. Tree Hole Mosquitoes (Aedes triseriatus)

Tree Hole Mosquitoes
Photo by James Gathany on Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

The Tree Hole Mosquito is a mosquito species originating from North America. They prefer water-filled cavities within trees, discarded tires, or bird baths. 

Moreover, they can survive winter by hibernating in the egg stage, making them cold-resistant and allowing them to thrive in a broader range of places than other mosquitoes. 

The females also lay their eggs above the waterline on the sides of tree holes or containers, ensuring that the eggs only hatch when submerged in water due to rain or rising water levels. 

They feed on plant nectar, but the females feed on blood from various mammals, including humans, to produce healthy eggs.

9. Southern House Mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus)

Southern House Mosquitoes
Photo by James Gathany on Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

The Southern House Mosquito inhabits tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. They typically live in urban areas and breed in polluted water sources. 

Moreover, they are most active at night and prefer bird blood when available. Female mosquitoes transmit diseases like West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and filariasis.

10. Common House Mosquitoes (Culex pipiens)

The Common House Mosquito is a well-known species in temperate and tropical climates. They are most active during the twilight hours, but they can also appear during the daytime in dark and damp areas of homes. 

Male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant juices, but the female mosquitoes crave human blood. It can transmit serious diseases such as the West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis. 

Their ability to breed in stagnant water and their preference for human habitats make them a major worry in populated areas. However, they play a vital role in the food chain by providing sustenance to birds, bats, and insects.

11. Western Encephalitis Mosquitoes (Culex tarsalis)

Western Encephalitis Mosquitoes
Photo by Davefoc on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Culex tarsalis mosquito, living in southern California, is a tiny brownish mosquito found in North America. It is a primary carrier of the West Nile virus and encephalitis. 

The mosquito can lay its eggs in various locations. Afterward, the developing mosquito larvae feed on algae, bacteria, and other tiny organisms in the water. Then, they grow into mosquito pupae, or “tumblers,” before maturing into adults. 

Moreover, the mosquito is not selective in feeding habits and will feed on birds, livestock, and humans, which transmit the West Nile virus. This virus can cause fever and brain inflammation in humans and animals.

12. Coquillettidia Mosquitoes (Coquillettidia perturbans)

Coquillettidia Mosquitoes
Photo by David McCorquodale on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Coquillettidia Mosquitoes live in eastern and central North America, surviving in stagnant water. They are most active from late spring to early fall, and their population often increases after heavy rainfall. 

Moreover, they are active biters, primarily drawn to lactic acid and carbon dioxide that humans and other mammals emit after sunset. These types of mosquitoes spread diseases such as West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and St. Louis Encephalitis. 

They attach themselves to aquatic plants and breathe through their air-filled tissues. Their unique underwater breathing trick makes them less susceptible to common larvicides, challenging conventional population control.

13. Black-Tailed Mosquitoes (Culiseta melanura)

The black-tailed mosquito is a well-known mosquito species in North America. It feeds on bird blood and is not known to bite humans frequently. Alarmingly, this type of mosquito is a carrier of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus, which can significantly impact bird populations. 

The larvae of black-tailed mosquitoes grow in freshwater bodies such as marshes, swamps, and woodland pools. Managing these mosquitoes is crucial, especially in areas with a high concentration of birds, to prevent an outbreak of EEE.

14. Psorophora Mosquitoes (Psorophora ciliata)

Psorophora Mosquitoes
Photo by xpda on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

The Psorophora ciliata is a type of mosquito found in the United States. The female is known for its size, hairy legs, and iridescent purple sheen. 

Moreover, they lay their eggs in soil that prefers wooded areas, marshes, and farmlands. Their larvae feed on other mosquito larvae and small aquatic organisms. 

Although they don't require a blood meal to lay eggs, they carry diseases like West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. 

15. Mansonia Mosquitoes (Mansonia uniformis)

Unlike other mosquito larvae and pupae, the Mansonia mosquitoes can stay submerged underwater. They penetrate aquatic plants' roots and stems with their siphons to tap into their oxygen supply. 

These flying insects are about 5 mm long, with a brownish body color palette and white bands on their legs. They are most active during the period just after sunset and before dawn. 

Mansonia mosquitoes feed on larger mammals, birds, reptiles, and humans. Unfortunately, they carry Japanese encephalitis, filariasis, and Rift Valley fever.

16. Silver Mosquitoes (Ochlerotatus tormentor)

The Silver Mosquito stands out due to its metallic appearance. It lives in different parts of the world but prefers wooded areas with standing water as they are ideal for laying eggs. 

The females are aggressive biters due to a biological need. While they rely on plant nectar as their primary food source, they also require a blood meal to produce eggs. This dietary requirement can make them carriers of diseases.


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Nene, V., Wortman, J. R., Lawson, D., Haas, B., Kodira, C., Tu, Z. J., Loftus, B., Xi, Z., Megy, K., Grabherr, M., Ren, Q., Zdobnov, E. M., Lobo, N. F., Campbell, K. S., Brown, S. E., Bonaldo, M. F., Zhu, J., Sinkins, S. P., Hogenkamp, D. G., Amedeo, P., … Severson, D. W. (2007). Genome sequence of Aedes aegypti, a major arbovirus vector. Science (New York, N.Y.)316(5832), 1718–1723.

Mike is a degree-qualified researcher and writer passionate about increasing global awareness about climate change and encouraging people to act collectively in resolving these issues.

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