Metamorphosis! Mosquito Emerging Into Adult Life

July 19, 2010, 8:22 a.m.

 

By Graham Smith
29th June 2010

They are public enemy number one during the summer months, hanging like a dark cloud over many an innocent victim.


But as these macro images show the first few moments in the adult life of a newly-hatched male mosquito is a sight to behold.


Captured in exceptional detail by photographer brothers Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas, the mosquito emerges from its pupa stage as a fully-grown adult.


Over the course of five minutes the mosquito gradually adjusts to life in the outside world.


 
Cycle of life: The first moments in the adult life of a newly-hatched mosquito are captured by these macro images taken by photographer brothers Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas

 
Slowly emerging from the water, over the course of five minutes the mosquito gradually adjusts to life in the outside world


The inspiration for the pictures came after Will noticed dozens of mosquito larvae swimming around in a plant pot full of stagnant water at their parents' home in Sevenoaks, Kent.


Setting up an indoor studio the brothers placed the larvae in distilled water at room temperature.
After waiting for two weeks, during which time the larvae changed into pupas, they captured the hatching process of one particular mosquito on specialised macro lenses.


The mosquito goes through four stages in its life cycle - egg, larva, pupa and adult.
Eggs are laid one after the other and float on the surface of water for up to 48 hours, during which time most hatch into larvae.
 


Close-up: The mosquito turns into an adult during the pupal stage after which it emerges from its watery world


 
Life span: Measuring up to 16mm in length, the mosquitoes live for anywhere up to one month
Each larva lives in the water, hanging from the surface while using siphon tubes to breathe. It sheds its skin four times growing larger after each molting. It is after the fourth molting that the larva morphs into a pupa.


The mosquito turns into an adult during the pupal stage. A period of resting and non-feeding, it lasts about two days before the adult is fully developed - at which point the pupal skin splits and the insect emerges to greet life on the outside.


Measuring up to 16mm in length, the mosquito then lives for anywhere up to one month. Some species have over time adapted to travel through their entire life cycle in as little as four days.


To view more of the Burrard-Lucas' brothers photography visit their website at www.burrard-lucas.com.

 
Studio: The Burrard-Lucas brothers took the stunning photos in their indoor studio at their parents' house in Sevenoaks, Kent

 

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