How many different species of mosquitoes are there in the world today? If your answer was too many, that’s correct! There are over 3,000 different species of mosquitoes in the world. However, only about 176 of those species can be found in the United States. Of those 176 species, the three most common are from the Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex genera.
Aedes mosquitoes love water and moisture. They lay their eggs on moist soil, old tires, and pretty much any other area that has standing water. Aedes mosquitoes are most common in tropical and subtropical climates. There are two species in the Aedes genera that are more troublesome than others as they are the carriers of dangerous diseases. Those two species are Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti. Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are carriers of dengue fever and eastern equine encephalitis. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are carriers of both the dengue and yellow fever.
Anopheles mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs in cleaner and more natural bodies of water such as marshes or swamps. An interesting trait of the Anopheles mosquito is that as larvae they do not have breathing tubes, so they must breath the holes on their sides called spiracles. Anopheles mosquitoes cause more than one million deaths a year due to the fact that they carry and transmit the parasite that causes malaria.
Culex mosquitoes lay their eggs at night on any body of standing water. Typically, Culex mosquitoes don’t travel further than a couple hundred yards from the location that they hatched. While Culex mosquitoes do prefer birds to people, the female mosquitoes still feed on humans and other mammals in order to get the protein that they need to develop and lay eggs. The most common species of Culex is Culex pipiens, which is the main carrier of the West Nile Virus.