In theme with Valentine’s Day, scientists have discovered more behind the annoying buzzing of mosquitoes: there is bug love, or rather, mosquitoes singing in perfect harmony when choosing a mate.
The study was conducted on the mosquito species Aedes Aegypti, which is known to carry mosquito-borne disease like Dengue Fever & Yellow Fever.
Researcher Ronald Hoy from Cornell recorded wing-flapping frequencies in both male and female mosquitoes. Anytime a mosquito buzzes, it generates a fundamental tone based on wing beats per second. But in addition to that dominant “buzz,” that humans hear, harmonics are naturally generated. The study found that tone-matching prevailed in pairs. When a tethered female mosquito was moved past a stationary male, the wing-flapping frequencies changed.
In nearly 70 percent of the pairs, both mosquitoes adjusted their wing-flapping speeds (fundamental frequency) so that their so-called harmonics matched up in a particular way. A harmonic is a multiple of a fundamental frequency. So the second harmonic of 430 Hz would be 860 Hz.
Embedded video from Cornell University To see an interesting video of this study featuring Ronald Hoy, click here.
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