adventures in unschooling

Mosquito Larvae

I knew there was a reason I was telling Paris not to drink the four day old wading pool water yesterday! Cassius found some mysterious larvae swimming in it today and wanted to take a closer look at them under our digital microscope.

He was compassionately thinking of ways he could care for them forever, until a image search revealed that they were mosquito larvae! Since he been waking every night since our camping trip crying “make the itching stop!” he suddenly decide that wasn’t a good idea to keep the pool filled with stagnant water until we move. The strange tube at the end of their tails are breathing tubes. The magnifigation 10X and the large mosquito measures 208 pixles. (8 millimeters I think)

We found the following information on the Kids Splash Website:

When a female Mosquito is ready to lay her eggs, she searches for stagnant (still) water with plenty of rotting detritus and bacteria for her larvae to eat. Her antennae can smell the gas that the bacteria make when they decompose detritus. More gas means more food for her young!

The Mosquito goes through four stages during its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The eggs normally hatch into larvae within 48 hours. Larvae must live in water from 7 to 14 days depending on the water temperature. During this time, the larva molts 3 times and grows to almost 1 cm. After the larva molts the fourth time it becomes a pupa. The pupa is lighter than the water and floats on the surface. The pupa does not eat. In 1 to 4 days, the adult Mosquito comes out of the pupa. It rests on the surface of the water until its body dries and hardens enough to fly away.

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