• Strategy

Antennae sense frequency of wingbeats: mosquito


The fine hair-like structures on the antennae of male mosquitos aid in them finding females. This image was taken with EVO® MA10. / ZEISS Micros.. / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

The antennae of male mosquitoes help them find female mosquitoes by sensing the frequency of their wingbeats with fine, hair-like structures.

"The antennae of male mosquitoes and midges are also adapted to find females of their kind, but in a different way. The brush-like male antennae are sensitive to sound waves, particularly to those of the frequency of the wingbeat of females; so when a male midge 'hears' a female with his antennae, he flies towards the source of the good vibrations. The response is so simple that the insect will be attracted to anything producing vibrations at the correct frequency (even a tuning-fork)…" (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:133)
About the inspiring organism

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Traps or insecticides that employ frequencies that mimic the wingbeats of female mosquitoes, biological pest controls.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Public health, agriculture

Foy, Sally; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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