Diet

The larvae of many species eat plant materials such as leaves, fruits, or roots of plants. Aquatic species filter bits of plant matter from the water or scrape algae (AL-jee) off leaves, rocks, and wood. Predators, parasites, and scavengers eat rotting plant materials and animals or animal waste. Those species that live as external parasites attack insects, spiders, and centipedes.

Adults suck or lap up all kinds of plant and animal fluids from living or dead organisms. Only female mosquitoes, no-see-ums, black flies, and horse flies bite humans and other animals because they need a blood meal to start the development of their eggs.

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