Mosquitoes flap wings not just to fly but also to ‘flirt’: Study

Team Udayavani, Nov 8, 2019, 2:19 PM IST

Washington: Mosquitoes flap their wings not only to stay aloft but also to generate buzz that attracts potential mates, according to a study that may help in building quieter drones, and for devising nontoxic methods to exterminate the insects.

The researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the US — including Indian origin Mechanical Engineer Rajat Mittal — studied the aerodynamics and acoustics of the mosquito mating ritual through computer modeling.

The study, published in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, noted that the male mosquito flaps its long, slender wings at high frequencies while also rotating them rapidly at the end of each stroke in order to connect with the low-frequency hum of a female.

The researchers said that the quick rotation of the wings “generate additional lift force” to keep them aloft.

This same rotation, they added, also aids in directing the buzz produced by their wings in a forward direction — an important process for chasing potential mates.

“The same wings that are producing sound are also essential for them to fly. They somehow have to do both at the same time. And they’re effective at it,” said Mittal.

Mosquitoes, he said, have to be able to direct their sounds properly.

“If I’m talking to you and I turn my back, you’ll have a hard time hearing me,” Mittal explained.

Mosquitoes have adapted their anatomy and flight physiology to fly and flirt at the same time, he said.

“The wing tones as well as the aerodynamic forces for flight are highly directional and mosquitoes need to simultaneously control both for the successful completion of a mate-chase,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

Mittal said the findings could inform research into how sound can be used to interrupt the mating ritual in mosquitoes.

He added this may lead to non-toxic methods to disrupt breeding and diminish populations of the pest.

According to the study, the long and slender wings of mosquitoes is perfect for making sounds.

Fruit flies, which are similar in size to mosquitoes, have short and stubby wings. Furthermore, mosquitoes are flapping at much higher frequencies than fruit flies. There is a reason for this. Higher frequencies are better at producing sounds,” Mittal said.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

J-K: Amit Shah arrives in Srinagar, will address rally in Kashmir’s Baramulla on Oct 5

Kumaraswamy airdashes to Telangana to join forces with KCR

LCH Prachand to be part of Air Force Day fly-past

Prez greets citizens, wishes Dussehra continues to inspire all to imbibe ethics, truth

Mangaluru Dasara: Traffic curbs on October 5, 6

Odia singer Murali Mohapatra collapses and dies while performing on stage

Rajnath approves renaming of Faizabad Cantt as Ayodhya Cantt

Related Articles More

Sensex, Nifty rebound over 2 pc amid relief rally in global markets

Reliance, Sanmina complete deal to set up electronics manufacturing joint venture

Sebi penalises 10 entities for diverting IPO proceeds in Birla Pacific Medspa case

Sandeep Kumar Gupta takes over as GAIL Chairman

Govt to approach capital market this month to raise Rs 2,500 cr for three road projects


Day 8 | Mahagauri

Sarapady Devadas Special Video.

Day 7 | Goddess Kalratri

Huge Fish Found in Muloor

Uchila Dasara 2022 Celebration

Latest Additions

J-K: Amit Shah arrives in Srinagar, will address rally in Kashmir’s Baramulla on Oct 5

CBI searches 105 locations under operation targeting cyber criminals

Kumaraswamy airdashes to Telangana to join forces with KCR

LCH Prachand to be part of Air Force Day fly-past

IMC raids MPCA office for pending dues; office-bearers allege action taken to get passes for T20 match

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.