How Do Mosquitoes Mate?



The life of a mosquito is extremely short; males tend to live about 10 days in total, whereas females live slightly longer at around 42 to 56 days. In order for the mosquito species to continue living, mating is essential.

In this article we will cover how mosquitoes mate, along with other interesting facts about their mating techniques.


Mosquitoes Mate in Two Different Ways.



Mosquitoes mate in two different ways; the first and most common method occurs when a male mosquito intercepts the flight of a female and mates with her without even landing on a surface.

The second method happens when a male mosquito spots a female resting on a surface. The male will land near the female and mate with her.



Intercept and Mate Method



Male mosquitoes intercepting the flight of female mosquitoes and mating with them can happen in a variety of ways. And as you can imagine the amount of time needed for mosquitoes to mate is very short, before the female even gets close to hitting the ground she will be able to fertilize her eggs with the help of a satisfying blood meal.

For more information on the diet of the male and female mosquito see: What Do Mosquitoes Eat?

The most common way this occurs is when a group of male mosquitoes gather together to form a large swarm in an arbitrary area. They will fly around in a pattern that will resemble a figure eight. Female mosquitoes locate these all male swarms by the frequency of their wings (that their lighter bodies create). Once she finds this swarm, she will fly directly through it. The male mosquitoes will detect the frequency that the female mosquito’s wings give off and will attempt to mate with her by intercepting her flight and mating with her in a matter of just a few seconds!
      Male Mosquito Swarm For Mating

Also Male mosquitoes instinctively know that females need blood; so another way for them to intercept the female mosquito is by hanging around their food source; this could be an animal or human. They will wait there until the female mosquito enters the picture and tries to capture a blood meal. Once the male mosquito detects the female, he will swoop in and intercept her flight, and mate with her.


Mating by Taking Advantage of Her Rest



Male mosquitoes can also mate just by landing near the female mosquito while they are resting. Male mosquitoes use their pincer like claspers found on their abdomen to grab ahold of the female and mate with her.

One other way male mosquitoes take advantage of this technique is by waiting until the female emerges from the pupal stage of her life. During this period the female takes time to air out her wings so that she can fly. Some males capitalize on this moment and mate with the female before she even gets a chance to take flight!


How Often Do Mosquitoes Mate?



The female mosquito only has to mate once for her entire life! The male on the other hand would count himself lucky if he was able to get one or more mating sessions in before the short 10 day end of his life.

One mating session will provide enough fertilization for the female to lay up to 5 batches of eggs before the end of her life. The female mosquito will however need to continue to seek blood from either humans or animals in order to fertilize the eggs each time because protein is needed for this task.


How do Mosquitoes Find Each Other to Mate?



Mosquitoes Find Each Other to Mate Male mosquitoes weigh slightly less than females do. This slight difference in weight is responsible for the difference in sound when the mosquito takes flight. Because the male weighs less he will emit a lower frequency noise which tells the female where the male(s) are located.

The female on the other hand weighs more and has larger wings which create a higher frequency noise that is distinct to males. You have likely heard this noise when a female mosquito gets close enough to your ear! On the other hand Male mosquitoes are far less common to hear as they live for a very short amount of time and wouldn’t be interested in being near you as they don’t eat blood but rather live off of plant based nectar.


What Happens After the Mosquitoes Mate?



After the female mosquito has mated with a male, it is time for her to seek out her first blood meal. She needs to feed on the blood of either an animal or human because of the need of protein to fully fertilize and lays her eggs.

After she has a full stomach of blood, then begins the task of flying around to find the perfect place to lay the eggs. Once she finds a wet area with more than an inch of water she will lay her eggs and begin to seek out a new blood meal to fertilize the next batch of eggs. This cycle will be repeated up to 5 times before the female finally dies from the old age of her 42-56 day life.





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