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The mosquito goes through four distinct stages during its life cycle:
The adult is an active flying insect, while the larvae and pupae are aquatic and occur only in water. Depending on the species eggs are laid either on the surface of water or are deposited on moist soil or other objects that will often be flooded. One method of classifying mosquitoes, which is important in the control of the larval stage, is by the type of habitat in which the eggs are laid. Those species that lay eggs singly on the moist soil usually near the edge of temporary pools of water are known as flood water mosquitoes. These eggs only hatch after they have been flooded by water. Psorophora, Aedes, and Ochlerotatus mosquitoes are floodwater mosquitoes which are most abundant shortly after spring rainfall. Those species that lay eggs on the surface of the water, either clumped in rafts or as single floating eggs, are known as permanent water mosquitoes.