A new study, conducted by researchers at Cornell and Binghamton University, now notes that mosquitoes can hear on far greater distances than anyone suspects.
Their findings have been published in the journal Current Biology.
Scientists believed that organisms required eardrums for long-range hearing and that the feathered antennas with fine hairs that mosquitoes and some insects used to feel worked only at close distances of a few centimeters (a few centimeters).
However, a series of experiments has now provided neurophysiological and behavioral evidence that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – which transmit diseases such as yellow fever, Dengue, Zika, West Nile and Chikungunya viruses – can hear specific frequencies up to 10 meters (32 feet) ) or more.
These frequencies superimposed well on the frequencies of female mosquitoes in flight and human language.
Speaking of development, senior author Ron Hoy said: "It has long been known that male mosquitoes are attracted to the sound of the female's flying wings.
Hoy noticed that since the mosquitoes mate in mid-air, the sound of the wings of the female buzzer sets the males in motion. Menda mounted the mosquitoes with an electrode in the brain and made the neurophysiological recordings of the auditory nerve stimulated by pure tones emitted by a loudspeaker 10 meters away.
The researchers found that the weak point of the frequency to which mosquitoes are sensitive was between 150 and 500 Hertz.
The frequency range of hearing mosquitoes also overlaps with human language. "The most energetic frequencies of an average human vowel are between 150 and 900 hertz," Hoy said, so "they should be able to hear" the people talking.
While the study offers both neurophysiological and behavioral evidence that male mosquitoes hear sounds from afar, they offer no evidence that they use it at home on people.
Insects are known to collect sensory signals such as carbon dioxide, odors and heat to locate people. But the results show an intriguing correlation, Hoy said.
(This story has not been changed by the Business Standard staff and is automatically generated by a syndicated feed.)