Phases of Development
After mating, the female mosquito stores the sperm in a special pouch and can lay the fertilised eggs over a period of weeks. The female starts drinking blood from the time of mating, as blood is essential for the development of the eggs.
On examination of these characteristics, the miracle in the mosquito takes on a new direction.
The Miraculous Eggs that Can Halt Their Development
Animals are able to perform with surprising ease many things that would seem impossible for man to achieve. For example, a human pregnancy cannot be prolonged, but certain creatures are able to do this. One such creature is the mosquito. Even though the time to lay the eggs has come, some mosquitoes lay their eggs not after the first rain, but after the second or third. This prudence is a way of protecting the mosquitoes’ progeny.
There is an important reason for mosquitoes delaying the laying of their eggs. There is a high probability of the moisture and puddles left by the first rain drying up in a short time. This means that the larvae would be left on dry ground and so would be unable to develop. This is only a probability, but the mosquito acts as though it has prior knowledge of this probability and behaves with great wisdom. It is not taken in by the first rain, but waits for the next downpour.
This situation brings several questions to mind:
How does the mosquito know that the moisture content of the ground may not be adequate after the first rain and that the puddles may dry up in a short time? In order for the mosquito to take such a precaution, it should be aware of the effect of evaporation and say to itself: “This is just the first rain and in time the water in the earth and on its surface will evaporate, so I should wait a bit longer to lay my eggs.”
The mosquito cannot acquire this knowledge through experience, for at the first trial the eggs would dry up and the new generation would be wiped out. For the success of the species, the mosquito must have some knowledge on the subject, but it is obvious that it cannot acquire this by itself.
Such examples are given to help better understand the situation, but as has already been mentioned, the mosquito has no capacity for learning. Nevertheless, the mosquito makes an extremely appropriate and far-sighted decision, which saves the lives of the next generation.
At this point it is worth dwelling on a very important question. How is knowledge passed on from generation to generation? If the newborn in question were a human being, its education would take years. Everything it knows would be taken from the experience of life and education gained after birth. However, every female mosquito, whose entire life consists of only a few weeks, has the knowledge it needs from the very beginning of its life. Who taught it this knowledge? On whose orders do mosquitoes act?
Although these questions on the breeding of mosquitoes are of little interest to most people, the answer constitutes a very important subject, which is of interest to everyone.
The mosquito, in common with all other living creatures, acts on the inspiration of God, Lord of the heavens and the Earth. This is the only true answer. Every living creature including man is under the control of God, whether or not it is aware of this. This is expressed as follows in a verse of the Qur’an:
“I have put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. There is no living creature on Earth whose destiny He does not control. Straight is the path of my Lord.” (Qur’an, 11:56)
Managing to survive difficult times…
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in the summer months or in autumn. The temperature of the place they find to lay their eggs is an important factor in the development of the larvae. Development is speeded up when a certain temperature is reached (minimum 10°C [50°F], maximum 30°C [86°F]), and if these limits are exceeded, development slows down or the larvae die.
Although the larvae are vulnerable, the eggs are quite resilient to drought and cold. If the right conditions are not available, the eggs can wait for rain and rising temperatures without cracking.
You have just read this sentence and if you are an observant person, you must have noticed the mention of the fact that "the eggs can wait without cracking.” Although their time has come to hatch, the eggs can wait without cracking…
The genetic details of all living creatures are coded in the DNA of their cells. Also in the case of humans, all details relating to the colour of the eyes and hair, height, structure of the internal organs and skin colour are coded in the DNA. This is only one example of the evidence of God's perfect creation.
If the right conditions are not available, the eggs’ development is halted. This is not a kind of death, but just a precaution taken until conditions improve. This delayed action, which is usually seen at the egg stage, is referred to as “diapause.”
At times when there is not enough moisture and heat for the eggs to grow, they stop developing and can keep for years without spoiling. There is a kind of heat-moisture safety fuse in the eggs. When the conditions are wrong, the fuse blows and the egg’s development programme is put on hold.
Actually it is not quite right to call this “stopping the programme,” because waiting for the right conditions is part of the programme. (This little creature said to contain a programme is approximately 1 mm [0.04 inch] in length—about the size of the point of a pencil.)
Whatever source you look at on this subject, the result is the same; it is agreed that the embryos act in accordance with a programme. This is a development programme, which takes place in the abdomen of the mother or in the egg, and in one respect resembles a computer programme. All the details of the programme are written into DNA molecules contained in the cell nucleus.
The differences between a mosquito and a human or an elephant and a parrot arise from this different programming in the cells. At first glance there seems to be little difference between a newly fertilised animal cell and a newly fertilised human cell. But each cell divides strictly according to the programme written into it. Living species emerge as a result of these cell divisions. In the mosquito too the commands of this programme are obeyed and if necessary the development of the eggs is halted.
At this point something should be explained: How has this embryonic programme been created? Who makes the programme and tells the embryo how to act?
Each one of the cells making up the embryo complies with the programme and acts jointly to stop the development.
If there is a programme, there must be a programming intelligence that wrote it. It is inconceivable to claim that even the simplest computer programme wrote itself, that is to say, as a result of information coming together by chance. In that case, of course, it is far more unreasonable to claim that an embryonic programme as yet unsolved by the human mind could have been produced as a result of coincidence.
There is only one explanation for this extraordinary event. It is because all the cells act on the inspiration of God that they can make such conscious moves.
Let us now leave the subject of the halting of the mosquito egg’s development and return to the subject of waiting for a suitable environment.
This feature is of vital importance from the perspective of continuation of the species. For example, one variety of desert mosquito lays thick-skinned eggs that can crack after a period of one or two years. These eggs survive for years without spoiling and then split open for the larvae inside to continue their development as though nothing unusual has happened.
Due to this resilience, mosquitoes can be found in almost every part of the world. Mosquitoes can live in places where the arctic temperature falls to -60°C (-76°F), in the humid, hot and airless atmosphere of mines, or in deserts where, apart from two or three wells, there is no other water supply for miles.
In the north of Iceland at the Arctic Circle there is a lake called “Mosquito Lake” (Lake Myvatn). Frozen larvae found in iced-over lakes hatch from the eggs when the ice melts as if they have not been frozen in ice for months on end. Their development takes off from where it left off and they develop into mature mosquitoes.
Characteristics of Mosquito Eggs
Female mosquitoes can lay from 40 to 200 eggs at a time in water. There are some that lay their eggs once every three weeks and others that lay once a year. The mosquito eggs have different characteristics according to where the species lives, the enemies in that environment or dangers that may be encountered. Some are very carefully packaged, some are packed tightly into a space, and some are supported with air pillows to prevent them from sinking.
Camouflage expert eggs
Once the eggs leave the mother’s side they are left totally defenceless. At first, because of their bright yellow colour they are motionless preys, easy to spot. A great number of enemies await them.
But mosquito eggs have an important characteristic. The colour of the eggs, which are laid at night, turns to black at first light. In this way they are well camouflaged from insects and birds.
At the larval and pupal stages of some species of mosquito, such as the anopheles, they are able to change colour to fit in with their environment. So if the larva is put in a black or white environment, it immediately takes on the colour of that environment.
Naturally neither the egg nor the larva, or even the mother mosquito who has gone through these stages, has any knowledge of this colour change. The mosquito larvae have absolutely no idea that there are enemies around them, that the mother has left them and that they are alone and defenceless. But this situation doesn’t pose any problems for them, because they have been created with the most suitable form of defence, as well as their other needs being met. The pigments in the outer layer of the eggs or larvae are activated by sunlight and camouflage themselves by growing darker.
The changing of colour to merge with the environment by the effect of photons emitted by the Sun is a somewhat complex chemical process, and the knowledge of this system is already installed in the cells of the egg shell. All the necessary chemical and physical processes for this effective form of defence are realised without exception in all mosquito larvae. All these facts lead us to only one conclusion: The creator of this finely planned process to protect the larvae in case of need has superior power. This power belongs to God, the Creator of all things. This is set forth as follows in a verse of the Qur’an:
That is God, your Lord. There is no deity but Him, the Creator of everything. So worship Him. He is responsible for everything. (Qur’an, 6:102)
The underside of the egg of the Culex mosquito has a funnel-shaped hollow. The purpose of this hollow may not be obvious at first sight, but in further stages of the egg’s development it emerges that it has a vital function. Thanks to the air filling the hollow it acts as a life buoy and keeps the eggs afloat.
However, the hollow can lead to serious problems for the egg. The hollow located under the egg, which can be termed a “life buoy,” can easily be rendered useless if the egg “capsizes.” For this reason a single egg laid on the water cannot float for long. If its balance is disturbed by the slightest rocking motion, it will overturn and the air-filled hollow will fill with water causing the egg to sink. However, in order to survive, the eggs have to stay above water. What would you do in this situation to stop the eggs sinking?
The mother mosquito binds the eggs together into a raft shape. This is the best solution for preventing the eggs from sinking.
Mosquitoes solve this problem in an ingenious way by sticking the eggs together. The eggs are stuck side by side into a disc shape and form a natural floating raft. This disc, which is about 11 mm (0.43 inch) in diameter, can easily float on water. The hollows under the eggs and the spaces between the eggs serve as an air pillow to keep the disc afloat. If such a clever method were not employed, the eggs would sink and die. However, the danger is averted right from the start and security provided by this design detail.
So how is it that a mosquito can think about a problem and find the most appropriate solution? Is it possible for the mosquito to know about the buoyancy of water? Where does it get the knowledge of how to use this force?
However impossible it may be, let’s suppose that the mosquito comes up with the solution for itself by observing other eggs and thinking about it at length. Even if that were the case, if there was no air hollow under the egg from the time it was laid, the mosquito’s raft would be useless.
What’s more, the mosquito is also created with an adhesive for sticking the eggs together, which is not dissolved by water over time. If it were not for this glue, there would be no meaning to the airspace under the egg or the mosquito’s decision to make a raft.
Of course, there is also a reason for the raft made by the mosquito being disc-shaped. The disc shape is the most suitable for a raft. If the mosquito used another geometric shape, for example, a long, narrow rectangle, the raft could easily capsize. But the disc-shape best protects the raft from capsizing if the water is rippled.
It is not possible to claim that the details, which together make up such a harmonious system, could have evolved of their own accord over time. Furthermore, if one of these details were missing, it would not be possible to go back over the whole system again and it would be destroyed. The mosquito makes a raft which it cannot develop by means of “trial and error” and which certainly could not have been produced as a result of coincidence. Thus the sole explanation for this system is that this creature, which makes a raft just a few weeks at most after hatching from the egg, is endowed with the necessary knowledge and constitution for this task and has been “programmed” for it.
It is quite a painstaking task to stick eggs together one by one and make a raft. And since these eggs will split open in the next season, the mosquito will die without seeing the result of its labour. After laying the eggs it has no further ties with the eggs. The mosquito, which will shortly die, goes to great lengths at no personal gain to ensure the safety of its eggs after its death.
A raft of mosquito eggs
Something that is really worthy of note at this point is that the mosquito has absolutely nothing to gain in spite of all its effort. The laborious task it carries out has no effect on its own life. That is to say, the mosquito doesn’t go to these lengths to stay alive, but to save the next generation. It makes the most appropriate decision and does all the necessary things to perfection to succeed in a difficult task to save a generation it will never see, and will never know what conditions it will develop under and what dangers it will face.
Those who defend evolutionary theory claim that creatures exist because of coincidence, and suggest that there is a selfish struggle for life in nature. If this claim were true, the mosquito could be expected to take no interest in its young, to lay the eggs in any place and to make no effort to defend them and supply other needs. But as we can see from the information which has been provided so far, the mosquito does not behave in this way and puts a lot of effort into a job whose results it will never see.
It is quite plain to see that there is no struggle for life in the mosquito. The common-sense actions it takes are made under the inspiration it is provided with. It is God Who gives this sense of self-sacrifice to the mosquito. In the following verse of the Qur’an, God explains how everything is submissive to Him:
Everyone in the heavens and on the Earth belongs to Him. All are submissive to Him. It is He Who originated creation and then regenerates it. That is very easy for Him. His is the most exalted designation in the heavens and the Earth. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Qur’an, 30:26-27)
Over the last ten years, effective methods have been developed for the preservation of foodstuffs. The most important of these is packaging.
The variety of midge known as the Chironomidae (in the same order, Diptera, as mosquitoes) uses this method to preserve its eggs.
The eggs are laid in a pile of gelatin-like substance, either in the shape of a frame or a string. The gelatin mass protects the eggs from being blown away, from drying up, from sudden changes in temperature and from enemies. In addition, thanks to this substance the fly sticks the eggs to plants or stones and thus also prevents the eggs from getting lost in the water.
Life buoy eggs
The eggs of the Anopheles mosquitoes, which serve as vectors for malaria, have a special shape and structure to prevent their sinking and enable them to stay on the surface of the water. Little air chambers on the outside of the eggshell and floating edges surrounding the egg keep it above water. The floating edges increase the surface tension of the water and thanks to this tension the egg does not sink.
Surface tension creates a force, which small creatures in particular cannot pass through. However, this is not usually a bad thing as it enables insects to walk on the water with ease. Thanks to support structures found on the legs of some insects, such as little hairs or oily secretions covering the feet, they are able to move much more easily on the surface of water.
The air chambers and floating edges on the eggs of the Anopheles mosquito make great use of the physical law of surface tension. However, as has already been mentioned, neither the larvae inside the eggs nor the mother mosquito, who herself once hatched from one of these eggs, has any knowledge of the surface tension or the structures on the eggs that make use of it.
There is no possibility of such an attribute being acquired over time. If this structure had failed to appear on the egg just once, all the Anopheles eggs would have sunk to the bottom of the water and the mosquito would have died out.
But such a situation never happens. For the Anopheles mosquitoes, like all other creatures, come to life complete with whatever they need to continue their existence designed in the most appropriate way.
God has created the characteristics needed by each creature and has inspired perfectly in each of them the tasks they will carry out. God has power over all things. The duty that befalls man is to reflect on the perfection of His creation and to deliver himself to His eternal might. God tells us in a verse of the Qur’an that there is no other deity:
Say: “Who is the Lord of the heavens and the Earth?” Say: “God.” Say: “So why have you taken protectors apart from Him who possess no power to help or harm even themselves?” Say: “Are the blind and seeing equal? Or are darkness and light the same? Or have they assigned partners to God who create as He creates, so that all creating seems the same to them?” Say: “God is the Creator of all things. He is the One, Who conquers all.” (Qur’an, 13:16)
Some mosqutio species lay their eggs in bamboo stems, which provide for the larvae a safe environment that also meets their other needs.
Like other mosquitoes, these mosquitoes have a unique method of egg laying. The mosquito sticks its rear legs through the holes of bamboo stems into the water left inside and thus assures itself that the eggs will drop into water, where they will continue their development.
When the first rain falls the eggs go into the incubation phase. Within 2-3 days of the eggs being laid, the incubation phase comes to an end and the grubs start to hatch. The grubs inside the eggs mature and hatch at practically the same moment. Within a minute all the grubs start wandering around in the water. They move around non-stop, eating virtually anything they come across and grow at an incredible rate.
Was it the ancestors of these species of mosquito that concluded from their observations that the most secure place for their young was bamboo stems and then decided that all descendants should use the same method? Was this order then passed on from generation to generation to every new female?
As we have seen, such questions inevitably confront us at every stage. The answers to these questions lead every person with a conscience to one point: the fact of creation. In a little water collected in some bamboo stem in some part of the world or other, there is a life form that we do not know about, that we have not even thought about, and this life form has been created in a perfect manner. This perfect creation encompasses the entire universe.
God points out in a verse of the Qur’an the importance of thinking about His creations:
And the water which God sends down from the sky—by which He brings the Earth to life when it was dead and scatters about on it creatures of every kind—and the varying directions of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and earth, there are signs for people who use their intellect. (Qur’an, 2:164)
And in your creation and all the creatures He has spread about far and near there are signs for true believers. (Qur’an, 45:4)
Change in the Appearance of the Eggs: the Larval Phase
The young mosquito newly emerged from the egg bears no resemblance to the mature state. It is as though it is a completely different creature. The body of the larva is approximately 1-1.5 mm (0.04-0.05 inch) in length and is divided into 3 sections consisting of the head, the thorax and the abdomen. The head is oval-shaped with eyes on either side that meet in the middle, with a short antenna above each eye. But the larva has to go through a long and difficult journey before it turns into a mature mosquito.
The larvae live underwater. Because they eat constantly, they enlarge 6-7 times in the space of a week. This is the only time in the mosquito’s life cycle that it grows. The larva is just hungry, eats and gets bigger.
How does the larva feed in the water?
1: Respiratory tube, 2: The brushes that direct the larva's food into its mouth
In this phase in order to breathe the larva has to remain suspended over the water without drowning. But there is a problem: How can a mosquito, which constantly needs to feed, get food when it is constantly suspended above water? A special method has to be found for this, but the creature in question is only a larva, with no capacity to think or develop a method.
If necessity dictates, the larva can dive into the water, but only for a short time because it has to come up to the surface to breathe. For this reason, it is impossible to feed by diving in this way.
A very important mechanism present in the larva allows it to eat head-down in the water. Thanks to this mechanism, the larva, which cannot go after its prey, agitates the water and brings prey to its mouth. It creates a current in the water by the rapid shaking of the 4 sets of fine-haired brushes on either side of its mouth. Bacteria found in the water are thus guided into the larva’s mouth by the motion of the water. The larva also eats the bacteria that get stuck in these brushes. A mosquito larva can sieve about 100-1,000 cc of water a day by this method.
As we have seen, there is an evident design in the larva: the brushes around its mouth are special feeding tools. Thanks to this system the larva can reach its prey without drowning. In His boundless compassion, Almighty God manifests Himself as the Provider (al-Razzaq) of all Creation, and protects the mosquito larvae. God has indeed created all creatures to perfection. And every living creature is provided for by God:
How many creatures cannot fend for themselves! God provides for them as He provides for you. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Qur’an, 29:60)
In a little pool of water there may be hundreds, even thousands of mosquito larvae.
One of the basic needs of the constantly feeding larva is breathing. But how is it that the larva is able not only to breathe but also eat while it is suspended upside-down?
Human beings make use of various special devices for breathing underwater (oxygen cylinders, snorkels, air pumps, etc.). Mosquito larvae, on the other hand, are naturally equipped with diving equipment similar to these. When they are head-down in the water, they breathe through respiratory tubes located on their hind bodies. Some larvae stay parallel to the water and use three respiration holes on the stomach. These systems resemble the snorkels and air pumps used by divers.
These features may seem like mere biological details to us, but actually they reveal an important fact. If such an intelligent design exists, there must be a Creator with a superior intelligence. This Supreme Creator, the Lord of the universe, is God, the judge, the educator and the planner of all the worlds from the smallest to the greatest.
God shows evidence of His existence to us by making His art manifest in all the life forms He has created. This art is plain to see everywhere, from the complex structure of the human brain to the infinity of space, from the digestive system of the mosquito to the perfection of the human body and microscopic creatures.
In the 40th verse of Surah Fatir in the Qur’an, God says the following:
Say: “Have you thought about your partner deities, those you call upon besides God? Show me what they have created of the Earth; or do they have a partnership in the heavens?” Have We given them a Book whose Clear Signs they follow? No indeed! The wrongdoers promise each other nothing but delusion. (Qur’an, 35:40)
What if water gets into the snorkel?
Thanks to snorkel-like organs, the mosquito larvae can carry on their lives in the water with ease. However, there is a danger inherent in breathing through a snorkel. Waves forming on the water or the effect of wind can result in water getting into the snorkel and therefore the mosquito drowning.
However, thanks to an important preventative measure, the mosquito is protected from being harmed by this potential danger. The end of the snorkel that comes into contact with the air is covered with a special kind of oil. This oil has a water repellent (hydrophobic) property. When the larva is suspended head-down in the water, the oil prevents water getting through the hole of the respiratory tube.
Thanks to a special kind of hydrophobic oil found at the tip of the snorkel, no water can get in, as the oil is water-repellent. The fact that such a special substance for such a specific function is found in exactly the right place is a point for which evolutionary theory can provide no explanation.
This secretion is specially created for water. When the larva is put into a fluid other than water, for example petroleum, the secretion fails to function. Petroleum gets into the snorkel and causes the larva to drown.
The fact that the tip of the respiratory tube of a 10 mm (0.4 inch) larva is just a few millimetres in length is not something that can be passed over lightly. Let’s point out the details:
-there is a special precautionary measure to eliminate the risk of water getting into the snorkel,
-the secretion is produced exactly where it is needed, i.e. by the cells at the tip of the air tube,
-this oily secretion is produced in every new generation...
Can these factors be explained by coincidence? Of course not, because coincidence causes confusion. Millions of coincidences happening one after another would mean chaos. Systems and mechanisms consisting of independent parts working in unison for a common aim are not the product of chaos but of intelligent design.
Evolutionary theory makes the assertion that living things have evolved over time from a simpler form to their present state. According to this theory, this development occurs as a result of a chain of coincidental changes.
However much you try to dress this up as “scientific,” using Latin names and complex terminology, the essential logic of evolutionary theory can be expressed in a single word: “Coincidence.”
Now let’s have a look at the claims evolutionary theory makes about how the special structure enabling mosquitoes to breathe was formed.
According to evolutionary theory, thousands of years ago mosquitoes must have had a simpler structure. In this imaginary scenario, let’s suppose that the respiratory tubes of the mosquitoes of the time had not yet developed. So what about the mosquito larvae of the time?
1) The larva could not stay head-down in the water, so they would hold their heads above water in order to breathe. The inevitable conclusion of this would be, of course, that all the larvae die of hunger.
2) Let’s suppose that a respiratory tube is appended to the body of the larva by chance (we will discuss the impossibility of this later), the larvae would drown due to the absence of oil at the tip of the tube to prevent water getting into it. The larva would not even have a second to wait for the cells, which synthesise this oil to form in the body. As has been demonstrated, this state of affairs creates inconsistencies in evolutionary theory itself.
3) Let’s suppose that the respiratory tube and the oil at the tip of this tube somehow formed at the same time on the larva’s body. It would only save the life of that particular larva, because the larva would not be able to pass on a change in its body to the next generation (Just as a woman who cuts off her finger does not give birth to a child with a missing finger). Therefore, in order for a bodily change to be passed on to the next generation, it is necessary for evolution to add the entire genetic code to the DNA located in the creature’s reproductive cells, rather than just creating a new organ or organelle.
This is a very important point. For this reason, let’s examine the subject by means of another example. Let’s suppose that a new organ, for example a liver, was appended to the body of a creature claimed by the evolutionists to be one of the ancestors of man. The liver’s genetic code consists of millions of ciphers. Every one of these ciphers has to be added to the DNA in the reproductive cells of the creature for a liver to emerge in the next generation. One single mistake in the millions of ciphers would result in the liver not being formed, or not being able to function and being harmful rather than beneficial to the animal. The imaginary creature in question would not be able to survive and would die out.
This brings us to another point. What would the creature in question do until the liver formed in its body? Which organ would carry out the vital functions performed by the liver? Obviously, it is illogical even to think that such a creature may have existed. The first human being came into the world perfectly formed, which means that he must have been created.
In the same way, the mosquito also has to carry the characteristics it possesses in the form of genetic coding in its DNA. Otherwise these characteristics would not appear in the next generation. The genetic coding of not only the respiratory tube but also of the oil produced by the cells at the tip of this tube would have to be introduced simultaneously, completely and faultlessly into the reproductive cells of the imaginary creature supposed to be the ancestor of the mosquito, which is an impossibility. This means once again that the mosquito came into existence perfectly formed, i.e. it was created.
So how does the mosquito distribute the air it breathes throughout its body?
The air taken in by the mosquito fills two small sacs. These little sacs are connected to capillary lines running along the body, which carry the air to all body parts. Between the sacs is a heart, which is appropriate for the needs of the mosquito. The heart pumps the sacs with regular beats and enables air to be distributed throughout the body.
After the heart come the stomach and the intestines. The heart, stomach and intestines also have to be perfect in shape. Along with the respiratory system, these organs are essential for the mosquito to survive. The mosquito has to exist as an integral whole; it is not possible for the features it possesses to be acquired over a period of time.
Moreover, these features show variety in each species of mosquito. For example, the larva of the Mansonia variety does not come up to the surface to breathe. Instead it uses a clever but somewhat difficult method.
Larva that breathes without coming up to the surface of the water
Oxygen found in water is dissolved in the water and utilised by all the creatures living in it, both fauna and flora. This oxygen accumulates in the roots and tissues of plants. The larvae of the mosquito Mansonia make use of this oxygen “packaged” in plants. The larva has a saw-like organ for boring into the roots and tissue of plants to draw out their oxygen content. By means of this it can comfortably meet its oxygen requirements and remain permanently below water.
Here, again, there is obvious evidence of a design. The structure of the Mansonia larva, which does not come up to the surface of the water, contains everything that is required for piercing the roots and extracting the air they contain.
What is more, the larva is aware of why it has been given this “tool” as part of its body. But the larva’s knowledge is not just confined to this. The larva also knows somehow that it needs oxygen and that the oxygen is to be found in the roots of plants. Naturally, the fact that a larva only 1.5 mm (0.5 inch) in length, that has only just come into the world, has all this knowledge cannot be explained away by claiming that it is coincidence.
It would not be accurate to describe all mosquito larvae as calm creatures that swim around in the water minding their own business making do with bacteria for food. Larvae of some species are somewhat predatory. Feeding continuously at this stage, they may eat one another when they are unable to find food. For this reason, the best kind of water for the larva’s welfare is not clean water but dirty water full of bacteria. When in clean water, only a few larvae may survive out of the hatchlings from the raft-like group of eggs.
However, the mother mosquito is perfectly aware of this and is more likely to lay her eggs in dirty water, where approximately 100 larvae will emerge safe and sound from the egg-raft.
It is worth pointing out at this stage that the mother’s actions are also based on a conscious decision. When a mosquito comes across two sources of water, one of which is clean and the other dirty, her decision leans towards the dirty water.
Now, does the mosquito take these measures to ensure survival of the species based on thought or observation? Of course there is no question of the mosquito gaining experience on the basis of which it makes decisions and passing on this experience to future generations.
How to deal with a current
In places where there is a current, in order to survive, the growing larvae have to find something to hold on to.
They easily shrug off this problem by using the support system on their bodies.
Some species of larva found in very fast flowing water have a long propeller attached to their bodies at a 45-degree angle.
By means of small chitin hooks located at the tip of this propeller, the larva is able to keep a grip and protect itself from the current.
Some mosquito larvae are born architects. These larvae, which do not have suckers with which to attach themselves to surfaces, build themselves houses to protect themselves from both enemies and the current. This is an interesting and surprising job, for each stage is full of difficulties.
First of all, the newly hatched larva has to feel the need for a house to provide security and protect it from the current, and with this in mind, to decide to build a house.
In the second phase, the larva has to make a plan. But a problem arises: The larva has no technical equipment or organ to use as a tool such as a beak, claws, paws, etc. Moreover, there are not many suitable materials to be found underwater for constructing a house.
However, the larva, whose every need is thought out in advance, already has the materials necessary for house building. It secretes a gelatine-like substance, which can easily be shaped. The larva, using this material to the best advantage in a way most suited to its own needs, makes a nest resembling a tube, which is open on both sides. It buries this tube in the mud or the sand or carries it around.
What is worth pointing out here is that the larva starts to build a house to protect itself as soon as it hatches from the egg, and it already has the necessary materials in its body, in a ready-to-use form.
Obviously some kind of training, and hence a certain knowledge of chemistry, is necessary to produce a substance that can easily be shaped underwater but which remains effective in water. As the larva is not a chemist, it is not possible for it to produce the secretion using its own intelligence and knowledge. It is completely senseless and illogical to consider such a possibility. Even if, in spite of the impossibility of the situation, we suppose that the larva has used its own skill and intelligence to produce such a substance, it is not feasible to think that it has installed the system producing the secretion in its own body. It is also obvious that it can’t build such a nest and bury itself in the sand of its own accord.
Even if a larva acquires these characteristics, whether by chance or by experience, it cannot pass on its acquired knowledge to the next generation. If a living thing has innate knowledge, and if it uses this knowledge to best advantage and naturally possesses all the facilities and equipment to make use of this knowledge, this can only mean one thing: All these things are achieved under the control of a superior intelligence, and are created together with this creature. The superior intelligence that gives this knowledge and attributes to the creature, that brings everything into existence, is our Lord. It is expressed as follows in a verse of the Qur’an:
Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on Earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not recorded in a Glorious Book. (Qur’an, 10:61)
What happens in the water under the sun for hours?
Up to now we have talked about how mosquitoes spend the entire larval and pupal phase in water, either on the surface or in places close to the surface. Over time this would have a negative effect on the larvae. However, the larvae are not in the least affected by sunlight, because any problems that could occur are solved right from the start, thanks to a pigment found in the body of the mosquito.
This pigment sheath consists of a network of cells resembling urocytes almost completely filled with uric acid granules. The uric acid acts as a sunscreen for the transparent larvae and pupae, and accordingly the mosquito is able to stay in the sun without getting burnt.
All the characteristics of mosquitoes serve as evidence of creation. To see this evident fact once again, let’s think of it this way: Even if just this shield were to be removed from the mosquito’s body, all the other attributes would become meaningless and the larva would burn to death in the sun.
All the examples given up to now point to one reality: God, Who creates all the characteristics that make up the mosquito, has incomparable power and knowledge. There is no other deity. God informs us as follows in a verse of the Qur’an that no partner should be associated with Him:
Or have they taken other deities besides Him? Say: “Produce your proof! This is the message of those with me and the message of those before me.” But most of them do not know the truth, so they turn away. (Qur’an, 21:24)
A Big Change: the Pupal Stage
In the majority of mosquitoes the larval phase lasts up to one week. The duration of this phase mainly depends on temperature, although feeding is also an indirect factor.
The larva grows constantly, and in a short time its skin starts to restrict its growth. This means the time has come for the first skin to be shed.
The transformation begins
1: Pupa, 2: Larvae
The fast-growing larva feels the need for a sharp tool to cut open its tough skin. At this stage it is impossible for the pupa to enlist any kind of assistance. It has to solve this problem by itself.
Up until now, the larva has easily been able to find everything it requires at each stage of its development. God, Who does everything to perfection, has created the larva together with all the organs it needs for specific purposes.
At the back of the larva’s head there is an organ used for breaking the tough skin. This organ is discarded from the body as soon as the skin is shed. If this organ failed to develop, or was late in developing, the larva would be unable to cast off the skin and would suffocate to death.
The new skin, which is soft and flexible, allows the larva to continue to grow. The mosquito larva will shed three more skins by the time it completes its growth. It develops by shedding its skin 4 times in all and finally becomes 10 mm (0.4 inch) in length.
The mosquito grubs have now entered the final phase before becoming fully-fledged mosquitoes, the “pupal” phase.
This is a very short phase consisting of only a few days at the most, during which time the pupa does not feed.
The head of the mosquito, which is fused with the thoracic section that will later carry the legs and feet of the mosquito, is large and round. At this stage, the mosquito is like a brand new creature, and its needs have also changed.
New Body, New Needs, New Solutions...
In the transition phase from larva to pupa the respiratory tubes close over. This means that the larva is left unable to breathe. However, a surprising development occurs and two new windpipes appear on the front of the pupa. Once more the mosquito manages to stay alive due to a development programme specifically designed for it. The larva starts breathing by elevating these two new windpipes to the surface of the water.
1: Larvae, 2: Pupa, 3: Snorkel
The pupae stay close to the water surface in order to breathe. Although they move very fast, they have no nutritional needs. The pupal phase comes to an end in 3-4 days.
Towards the end of the pupal phase the mosquito becomes much darker in colour and the skin becomes more transparent. Within five days, the pupa’s skin splits and the mature mosquito is ready to emerge from the water. This moment is a show of astonishing expertise, for the young mosquito leaves the floating pupa without touching the water. It has to be able to do this, as it cannot fly if its wings get wet.
The wings and legs have already completed their development during the pupal phase and are ready waiting inside the pupa till the time for their use.
The Mosquito Overcomes Difficulties
Just before emerging from the cocoon, the pupa takes a breath and expands. This expansion causes the cocoon to split, starting from the head. This is an important detail, because if the splitting started from the bottom rather than the top, the mosquito would not come to the surface of the water and would drown.
At this stage, the mosquito preparing to emerge faces great danger. If water got into the splitting cocoon, it would mean the end of the mosquito. However, the necessary precautions have already been taken to prevent this danger. The head of the splitting cocoon is covered with a sticky substance that prevents the head of the mosquito from coming into contact with the water. This fluid, in common with the fluid already used by the animal in the “snorkel,” is water-repellent. If it were not for this special liquid in the head region, the splitting cocoon would fill with water. The mosquito’s wings and body would get wet and it would sink together with the cocoon.
That’s not the only danger the mosquito faces when emerging from the cocoon; new difficulties await it. Let’s give some thought to the situation of the mosquito as it attempts to extract itself from the tight-fitting cocoon enclosing it: If it loses its balance, the cocoon may turn upside down. The mosquito may come into contact with the water as it emerges and get wet. Both possibilities would mean death by drowning for the mosquito.
The pupa continues to breathe. As the lightest breeze may cause it to get wet and consequently die, the mosquito chooses a moment when the wind drops to come out of the pupa. Then it slowly puts its head and front feet out of the cocoon. Resting its front feet on the surface of the water, it pulls the rest of its body out of the cocoon floating in the water. At this point, it is easy to see how the mosquito was created with perfectly designed feet. On the mosquito’s feet there is a special structure to prevent them sinking in the water.
If there were no such feature on the mosquito’s feet, the animal would drown in the cocoon before emerging on to the water.
After extracting itself from the cocoon, the mosquito rests for a while on the water and then flies off.
Of course there are other aspects of this miraculous transformation that should be given due consideration:
- The larva living in the water has no way of knowing what flying is. Yet the wings it needs to fly have developed perfectly while it is still in the water.
- It would mean the end of the mosquito if the development of the wings enabling it to fly and the formation of the feet enabling it to stay on the surface of the water were not completed while it was still in the water. The mosquito would drown as soon as it emerged from the pupa. However, everything is ready on time.
The mosquito emerges from its underwater world with everything it needs for the outside world:
When we think about all the stages the mosquito goes through, from being laid as an egg in water until the time of flight, we can see that this in itself is a miracle of creation. There are hundreds of dangerous turning points that the mosquito passes through until it comes into the outside world. Thanks to the fine balance and timing inherent in each of these, the mosquito passes through the critical points and its life commences as a mature mosquito.
As we have seen, there is a flawless and extremely detailed design at work in the mosquito. Therefore even a mosquito is an important evidence of the magnificence of God’s creation. God makes us aware of this reality in a verse of the Qur’an: “God is not ashamed to make an example of a mosquito…” (Qur’an, 2:26). As is the case with every living or non-living form of existence in the universe, this little creature is also a manifestation of the signs of our Lord.