The most common mosquitoes lay egg rafts that float on the water. Each raft contains from 100 to 400 eggs. Within a few days the eggs hatch into larvae.
The larva or “wiggler” comes to the surface to breathe through a tube called a siphon. It sheds its skin or molts four times during the next several days. It grows rapidly between each molt. On the fourth molt it changes into a pupa.
The pupa or “tumbler” cannot eat. It breathes through two tubes on its back. The adult mosquito grows inside the pupa and in two days or so, when it is fully developed, it splits the pupal skin and emerges to complete the life cycle or metamorphosis of the mosquito.
The newly emerged adult rests on the surface of the water until it is strong enough to fly away and feed.