Mosquitoes and gnats facts
The ring legged mosquito, Culiseta annulata, can be easily identified by the black and white bands on its legs. It is one of the largest mosquitoes, whose bite can be painful, although it probably does not carry any diseases. It is found all over Europe. Body length 0.2 inches (5 mm).
- Common name: Mosquitoes, gnats
- Family: culicidae
- Suborder: Nematocera
- Order: Diptera
- Class/subphylum: Insecta/Hexapoda
- Number of species: About 3000(over 150 u.s.)
- Size: From about 0.2in (5 mm) to around 0.3 in (8 mm)
Key features: Slender body, long legs, and rigid, piercing mouthparts (except in the gnats), ocelli not present; males of most species have featherlike antennae
Habits: May be diurnal or nocturnal; tend to rest in the shade, blood feeders attracted to host animals by the carbon dioxide they breathe out
Breeding: Females whine to attract males; often form mating swarms; females lay their eggs on the surface of water
Diet: Male mosquitoes feed on nectar and fruit juices; females feed similarly, but a number are also blood feeders; larvae are aquatic filter feeders or nibble at underwater plant remains and algae; a few feed on other mosquito larvae
Habitat: usually found near water in which they can breed; also forests with plenty of waterfilled holes in trees; lake and pond-side vegetation, marshes, estuaries, human habitations, outhouses, stables, and so on
Distribution: Worldwide even into the arctic.