The Life Cycle of a Mosquito

There are 2500 different type of mosquito species throughout the world of which 150 of those species are in the Untied States.  52 species occur here in California.  All mosquitos must have water to complete their life cycle.  The water can range from snow melt to sewage effluent and it can be in any container imaginable.  Mosquito larvae are identified by the type of water they lay their eggs in.  The adults also show a preference for the type of sources in which to lay their eggs.  They lay their eggs in places like tree holes that hold water, tide water pools, sewage effluent ponds, irrigated pastures, rain water collect, ect.

Mosquitos have unique feeding habits in which the female mosquito will feed on man and other animals.  The male mosquito feeds only on plant juices.  Some female mosquitos prefer to feed on one type of animal or they can feed on a variety.  Female mosquito feed on man, domestic animals, such as cattle, horses, goats, etc; all types of birds; all types of wild animals and they also feed on snakes, lizards and frogs.

Female mosquitos need to get a sufficient blood supply to develop eggs.  If they don’t get this meal, then they will die without laying eggs.  There are some species that can lay viable eggs without getting a blood meal.

The length of life of the adult mosquito depends on different factors: temperature, humidity, sex of the mosquito and time of year.  The male mosquito lives very short time, which is about a week; and females live about a month depending on the above factors.

There are four distinct stages of life that a mosquito goes through: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult.

Eggs:  The eggs are laid one at a time and float on the surface of the water.  Culex and Culiseta species, the eggs are stuck together in rafts of a hundred or more.  Anopheles and Aedes species do not make egg rafts but lay their eggs separately.  Culex, Culiseta, and Anopheles lay their eggs on water, but Aedes lays their eggs on damp soil that will be flood with water.  Most eggs will hatch into larvae within 48 hours.

Larva:  Larva live in the water and swim to the surface to breathe.  After each molting, they shed their skin four times growing larger.  Most larvae have siphon tubes for breathing and hang from the surface of the water.  Larva feed on micro-organisms and organic matter in the water.  Th larva changes into a pupa on the fourth molt.

Pupa:  The pupal stage is a resting, non feeding time.  This is when the mosquito turns into an adult.  It will take about two days before the adult is fully developed.  The pupal skin will split and the mosquito will emerge when development is complete.

Adult:  The adult mosquito will rest on the surface of the water for a short time to let itself dry and all its parts harden.  This will give the wings a chance to dry so it can fly off.

Temperature play a big part during the life cycle of a mosquito.  For instance, the Culex tarsalis might go through its life cycle in 14 days at 70 F and take only 10 days at 80 F.

The Answer:  Mosquito Fish

 

Turtles and Ducks,Yuck Yuck Yuck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turtles and Ducks may be cute and exciting to watch, but their feces is very rich and tend to pollute water very quickly.  It is also very hard to filter their feces because being so rich like “stinky gooey chocolate” that a biological filtration is needed.  Sometimes you can never get enough to handle the load that is producing.  Another problem is that they both eat fish, small fish usually.

I had a client that was complaining of a fin disease inflicting his koi.  On examination on the fish, I pointed out to him the “diseased” fins had chunks missing that was the exact shape of the turtles beak.  The turtle was biting the fins of the fish!

Ducks can easily carry disease in feces.  As they feed on fish from another pond and fly into your pond and poop, this will bring disease to your water garden and effect your fish.  Both Turtles and Ducks forge and dig in soil and aquatic plants for grub, which makes a mess.  Another problem are ducklings, yes they are cute as a button and who wouldn’t want baby ducks swimming around in their pond, but duckling who nest in a pond are a problem.  I had a friend who once allowed ducks to nest and they had a joy watching them.  Then.. they leave the nest and migrate back.  Which means they will nest their ducklings in the pond and the cycle will go on and on for years and years till he had so many ducks on his property, him and his wife were trying to get them out of their yard.

Our advice, don’t put ducks and turtles in your pond!

P.S.  We do have some clients that have turtles and ducks, we just clean the ponds more often then usual.

Feeding Fish

Photo by Randy Heisch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feed fish what they want – observe them,“listen” to the fish. They will let you know whether they are hungry or not. 15-20 minutes after placing the food in the water for the fish to eat, there should be no floating food left. If there is food, you have fed them too much.

Fish are cold-blooded animals. Their metabolism is based on the temperature of the water they live in. Warmer water creates faster metabolisms. Fish will eat more and need more food to survive. Colder water creates slower metabolisms in fish. They will eat less food. In fact, at 50 F / 30 C you stop feeding goldfish and koi. Below 50 F / 30 C if they do swallow food, the food will spoil before it passes out of their long intestinal track. This leads to all types of problems – sickness, diseases, digestive problems, etc. Note that normally they will not eat when it is this cold and the uneaten food will only spoil, clog and over load your filter system, disturb the pond balance and possibly create an unhealthy and detrimental situation. Thus note at 50 F / 30 C and below – DO NOT FEED YOUR FISH!

Start feeding once a day as the temperature warms in the spring. When it warms, koi can be fed multiple times a day. As the weather cools in the fall, gradually slow down on the quantity till you stop at 50 F.

Koi/Carp are bottom-feeding fish in nature. The barbs on either side of their mouths are used to tactilely feel along the bottom of a lake for food. They are omnivores. An omnivore is a kind of animal that eats either other animals or plants.  Naturally, their diet would consist of worms, crustaceans, plant life, etc. We have trained koi to come to the surface with floating food – for our own enjoyment.

Koi food companies are doing their best to create dietary mixtures in their foods and for the most part they are doing a good job. And yet there is still a belief that the dietary needs of koi are still most optimally met by augmenting a variety of foods – some proteins, plants, starch, etc. This can include not just pelleted/processed foods, but also fruit – sliced oranges, grapefruit, watermelon – grains -rice, wheat, bread.

Japanese Koi

The Japanese Koi are world wide known as beautiful fish composed of brilliant colors and markings. People who own these fish can tell you how wonderful it is to be part of their lives. There is a mysterious past that surround this awesome fish. A lot of people still wonder where they have originated from.

Koi is a Japanese name meaning Carp, but the original word comes from the latin word Cyprinus Carpio meaning Carp. Many people believe the Koi came from Japan, but it is understood that Japanese Koi have come from the waters of the Caspian Sea and around China. There are records of carp fossils found in China dating back 20 million years and showing early accounts of the first color mutations being bred in China.

It is unclear as to where Koi are from, but there are a lot of stories that Koi have been brought to Japan by the Chinese invasion. Another says that Japans emperor had kept Koi in 200 AD. The history of Japanese Koi is pretty vague. As to what really happed between the 2nd and the 17th century is an ongoing exploration still today.