Several species of mosquitoes are found in the South West of Western Australia and breed in a broad range of weather conditions and breeding habitats. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant or slow moving water, including the many tidal saltmarsh wetlands, storm water drains and some catchment areas following rainfall. The problematic species of saltmarsh mosquitoes that breed in large populations in the region include:
The Mosquito Lifecycle
Eggs are deposited mostly on Sarcocornia vegetation that will come into contact with water either via tidal inundation or rainfall. Eggs of some species can survive long periods of dry conditions. Once they come into contact with water they begin to hatch often in batches.
The larvae is the aquatic stage of the mosquitoes lifecycle, without water this stage cannot be completed. The larva grow and moult through four stages. Water temperatures and other factors can dictate how quickly the larva develops through these stages. During warm conditions larval development can be as little as 4-5 days.
Once the larva has completed its development the pupa is formed. This is the non-feeding stage and the adult mosquito forms within the pupa casing. The pupa breathes through tubes on its head. The pupa stage lasts for about 2-3 days before the pupa casing splits open and the adult mosquito emerges.
Once emerged the adult mosquitoes will leave the breeding sites and commence the life cycle all over again.
Males generally have a short life span and only feed on plant juices and nectars. Males do not seek blood and are of little importance for disease transmission.
Females will mate once with a male and then seek blood meals to produce eggs over it’s lifetime made up of feeding, resting, developing and laying numerous batches of eggs.