MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Mosquito: carnivore or omnivore?

Date: Fri Jul 10 14:25:01 1998
Posted By: Louise Freeman, Post-doc/Fellow Biology
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 897075258.Zo

An interesting question! It depends on how you look at it. As you know, carnivores eat animals, herbivores plants, and omnivores both.

If you look at the mosquito life cycle, you will see that larval mosquitoes filter-feed on microorganisms in water. Are these plants or animals? Probably neither: most of these are one-celled organisms or Protoctista... a different kingdom.

Could you consider adult mosquitoes carnivores because they feed on the blood of animals? In a sense, yes, but the blood meals are not actually nutrition for the insect; females require a blood meal to supply a protein needed to successfully lay eggs. Only female mosquitoes bite humans.

At least some species of adult mosquitoes (of both sexes) feed on plant nectar, so I guess you could say they eat plants, too.

It is probably most correct, therefore, to consider a mosquito an omnivore, then, since they consume different types of food at different life stages.

You can find more information on mosquitoes at Yahoo

Thank you for your question!

Louise Freeman

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