Mosquitoes Feast and Fly with Ease!
When you’ve eaten a big meal, what you want do to the most is just sit comfortably, let it digest and enjoy the moment and satisfaction from your feast. The last thing you want to do, is leap up away from the table and have to run off somewhere or be physically active. However, what if after you’d finished dining, or even during, you had to make a quick, sharp exit? That’s what mosquitoes have to do, to avoid being swatted once they’ve fed on our blood and we’ve noticed them doing so! These clever little critters have adapted ways to avoid ‘the swat!”
How Blood-Bloated Mosquitoes Stealthily Avoid a Swat
After a mosquito bites you and drinks its fill, how does it escape quickly and sneakily, to avoid getting smacked? To make their liftoff smoother and less noticeable to their victims, blood-bloated mosquitoes adjust their takeoff technique, researchers have discovered. Using an array of high-speed cameras and 3D-motion analysis, scientists tracked 63 takeoff maneuvers in mosquitoes, describing their results in a new study. They found that full mosquitoes prepared for liftoff by first beating their wings, then gradually increasing downward pressure with their legs, and finally pushing off almost imperceptibly.
So with a belly full of blood, these disease spreading pests, are still able to make a getaway with ease!
An interesting video on mosquito flight. The high frequency noise generated by their wings is seriously annoying when you’ve got a mosquito flying around your head, but at least it gives us a small clue that they are there.
They may be quick at making a getaway, but they are actually not the best at flying…
Mosquitoes are actually terrible at flying
Mosquitoes spend a lot of time in the air—it’s how they hunt, find mates, and even lay eggs. But for all the time they’re actually airborne, it turns out they’re not actually that efficient at flying.
In a paper published (paywall) today (March 29) in Nature, a team of researchers led by Richard Bomphrey, a biomechanical engineer at the Royal Veterinary College, London in England, describe how under the scrutiny of eight cameras that took 10,000 frames per second, mosquitoes revealed exactly how they fly.
What we want is to avoid mosquitoes getting the opportunity to feast on us in the first place, so at all times that you may be vulnerable to these disease spreading pests, invest in mosquito repellent. Don’t let them feast and fly with ease!
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