How to catch a mosquito
17 April 2007
Males detect female mosquitoes from the sounds generated by their wing-beat
Males detect female mosquitoes from the sounds generated by their wing-beat. As female wings are poor acoustic radiators – they don’t make much noise – males have been driven, by sexual selection, to evolve highly sensitive acoustic sensors. In addition, female sounds appear and vanish very suddenly, leaving the male with just a split second in which to detect her. A reflection of the demands of this task may be the fact that the ears of male mosquitoes contain up to 16,000 sensory cells, a number comparable to that contained in the human ear.