How Mosquitoes Reproduce in Saltwater
During the mosquito life cycle, several morphological adaptations are involved in osmoregulation. Specifically, a specific gene, ppk301, plays a key role in sensing water. It is present in specific neurons of mosquitoes, which then send signals to the mosquito’s brain. Specifically, it is involved in the regulation of the ionic drive of hemolymph.
The mosquito life cycle is divided into four phases, including the larvae, pupae, adulthood, and oviposition. The oviposition stage is the stage during which the female mosquito lays eggs directly on the water’s surface. In some cases, the female mosquito lays her eggs in stagnant water. In other cases, she lays her eggs in a container filled with water.
In the larval stage, the mosquitoes feed on algae on the water surface. During their growth, the larvae molt four times. When the fourth instar molts, it ceases feeding.
Mosquitoes have adapted to the increased salt concentrations in their environment. Salts like Na+ and Cl- are eliminated rapidly by Malpighian tubules. They are also absorbed across the stomach.
Adult mosquitoes also ingest salts as components of plant-derived sugars and blood. They also use tarsal segments to detect salt concentration in water.
Mosquitoes have a wide range of salt concentrations, from 0.1 to 1%. Although no studies have shown that salt is lethal at low concentrations, salt concentrations may affect the survival of mosquitoes.
Salt can also modify oviposition behavior. In particular, some mosquitoes of Culex and Culiseta genera maintain a stable osmotic gradient with the external environment.