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MOSQUIFLY

Mosquifly is a small type of insect.Their length is usually about 1-2 centimeters. They are interbreeding species between mosquitoes and butterflies. Mosquiflies are very rare and only found in the forest of Madagascar, Africa. Mosquiflies are one of many species of Mosquitoes family. They have almost all the characteristics to be identified as mosquitoes. However, the significant differences are both female and male are not blood-eaters; they can change colors and have a life cycle like butterflies

Scientific Classification:

·      Kingdom:Animalia

·      Phylum:Arthropoda

·      Class:Insecta

·      Family:Colorcidae

History:

Scientists have discovered the fossils of this rare species in Madagascar. They appearance was around 90 to 100 million years ago. It was also the time frame when all insect species diverged rapidly due to environmental living changes. The laboratory results showed that both DNA of mosquitoes and butterflies are found in mosquiflies ‘ cellular structures.

Food and species:

Both female and male mosquiflies are feeding on nectars or honeydew of plants, pine trees, pollen from flowers. They are not vectors or transmitting any diseases like other mosquitoes species.

Mosquiflies are member of Colorcidae family – insects that can change color of their wings, skins or their appearances. They have small bodies and big eyes on the side of their heads. Their normal color is brow; however they can change into red, orange, green depending on their situations.

Behavior:

Difference from other female mosquitoes–sucking blood from animals or human being for protein, female mosquiflies are seeking another alternative way to provide nutrition for their eggs. So,besides foods such as nectar and honeydew or sugary liquids from plants, they are feeding on the pollen from a very special type of flower only found in the deep forest of Madagascar called Mospolly flowers. Those flowers are very rich in protein and vitamins that the mosquiflies need as well as other insects. They only bloom at some particular times during the day. In order to compete with other insects or hide from predators when exposing themselves while eating the pollen, mosquiflies have evolved a changing body color trait. The female mosquiflies often change from brow color to bright red or orange to blend in with the flower’s color. On the other hand, the male mosquiflies can change into leafy green like plants to survive. In additional, due to the living environment in Madagascar- hot during the day and cold at night, mosquiflies have to change their color at daytime to preserve body heat and keep them warm during nighttime. Another theory suggested by scientist about mosquiflies’ coloration is that they use different colors to communicate or for matting purpose.

Life Circle:

Mosquiflies have a four-stage life circle like butterflies: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The first three stages are happened on Mospolly plants. They lay eggs on the lower leaves where the condition is wet. The hatching only happens in few days. Then they enters the second stage –larva. At this stage, they often eat young leaves to get nutrition. When the larva is grown, they will become pupa, which are covered in many layers of leaves. The second and third stages often take two to three weeks. In their adult stage, mosquiflies can live about four months.Because of the living environment and limited amount of Mospolly plants, the population of mosquiflies becomes lesser maybe disappear in the future.