Mosquitoes may be able to listen to your conversations: Binghamton University and Cornell University researchers have discovered it Aedes Aegypti The mosquito's antennas can detect sounds at least 10 meters away.
The study, which was published in Current biology February 7 showed that mosquitoes that were previously believed to have limited hearing aids can actually hear sounds from larger distances, said a press release from Binghamton University. With the study, scientists can better understand how mosquitoes use their senses to detect food sources and potential helpers.
Professors from both universities collaborated to test the mosquito's increased hearing ability. Laura Harrington and Ron Hoy from Cornell University studied how mosquitoes hearing impaired affected mating behavior, and Hoy dropped post-doc Gil Menda to absorb mosquito antenna nerve activity when stimulated by sounds. The team found out that the mosquito's nerves were sensitive to distant sounds.
After this step, Hoy and Menda collaborated with Professor Ron Miles, professor of Binghamton University, to place mosquitoes in his lab built to absorb sound without background noise or sound reflections. In this quiet anecho chamber, the team tested the mosquito's response to various sounds, including the sound of female mosquitoes flying to male mosquitoes. Interestingly, the male mosquitoes responded only to sounds in women and went off to fly when they heard these sounds.
"We could observe the behavior of male mosquitoes for recorded sounds of either male or female mosquitoes," Miles said in the press release. "We could also measure the neural response of their antennas and found that they can hear sounds from surprisingly far away in the same frequencies that are important to human speech."
The study did not focus on whether the hearing ability of the mosquitoes could help them find human hosts, but it revealed interesting insights into how noise is important for these insects' mating activities.
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