One type of freshwater invertebrate that we have identified from our ponds belongs to the family Culicidae, and is commonly known as mosquito larvae. We have found this species to be quite abundant in certain ponds. These larvae have a well-developed head with mouth brushes used for feeding. They also have a large thorax with no legs and a segmented abdomen.
They tend to be found on the surface of the water, and will only dive below the surface when disturbed. The larvae must come to the surface regularly, as located on their eighth abdominal segment are spiricles which they use to breathe through.
The larvae move in a figure of eight motion, and are often referred to as ‘wrigglers’. They move through propulsion with their mouth brushes.
The mosquito larvae mainly feed on algae, bacteria and other micro-organisms found towards the surface of a pond.
In order to grow, during their larvae stage, they shed their skin around four times, getting bigger each time. How long the larvae stay in the water depends on the temperature of the water, but generally takes between 7-14 days.