cult and paste

be careful where you clique

Mosquito Music

When a male mosquito encounters a female mosquito on the fly, he notices…. by the way she flaps her wings.

Female mosquitoes- the biters, keep the pace at around at 400Hz (cycles per second). That’s a slightly sharp, slightly annoying G. Males alternatively flap at 600Hz, a near a D. Yet when the a female is within earshot, the male vamps things up a notch and begins flapping his wings at 1200Hz a whole octave higher. This of course demonstrates to the female that he is THE MAN.

The female listens to the male and thinks it over, and within about 2 or 3 seconds she makes up her mind and checks one of the boxes… yes, no, maybe. If yes… she then raises her wingspeed to 1200Hz to match his. This lets the male know he will be loved. The two bugs then find the nearest surface to let it all hang out- the bliss lasts for all of about 10 seconds. Mosquitos only live 10-15 days- even less in the cold


This research was carried out by some peeps from Cornell. The mosquito of choice was Aedes Aegypti (lit. the Odious of Egypt). This mosquito may be familiar as a vector for the virus that causes Dengue Fever and in some cases Yellow Fever.  The crew of expertisios, who discovered this phenomenon, had to overcome the technical difficulties of getting a microphone up in the grill of the mosquitoes while they were checking each other out. This was overcome by footbinding the female, obviously.

Science Magazine 20 February 2009


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This entry was posted on March 9, 2009 by in Nature, Science.
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