Legend aside, the female of the species absolutely needs this meal of blood in order for its eggs to mature.
The males of the species never resort to this type of nourishment as they feed on fluids of plant origin.
Mating occurs during flight, the males swarming together so as to attract the females. The female mates only once and stores the spermatozoa in a sort of sac in its reproductive tract called spermatheca, hastening then to sting as many warm-blooded animals so as to get its eggs to mature.
The mosquito lays from between 100 to 300 eggs generally at night in any stretch of still water suitable for the development of the larvae. It takes about 48 hours for the eggs to fully mature, during which period, termed the stage of "post-prandial rest", the mosquito is relatively inactive.
The three post-hatching stages
The larva: the larva goes through 4 stages of development, feeding on small particles present on the surface of the water.
The pupa: the pupa develops after the fourth larval moult and is a transitional stage between the larva and the emerged insect. While not feeding, it however breathes atmospheric oxygen like the larva.
The newly emerged insect: the insect emerges through a dorsal cleft in the cuticle of the pupa after about 48 hours and feeds on fluids of plant origin.