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Mosquito sound communication: are male swarms loud enough to attract females?

Mosquito sound communication: are male swarms loud enough to attract females?

Feugère, Lionel ORCID: 0000-0003-0883-5224, Gibson, Gabriella, Manoukis, Nicholas and Roux, Olivier (2021) Mosquito sound communication: are male swarms loud enough to attract females? Journal of the Royal Society - Interface, 18 (177):20210121. ISSN 1742-5689 (Print), 1742-5662 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2021.0121)

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Abstract

Given the unsurpassed sound-sensitivity of mosquitoes among arthropods and the sound-source power required for long-range hearing, we investigated the distance over which female mosquitoes detect species-specific cues in the sound of station-keeping mating swarms. A common misunderstanding, that mosquitoes cannot hear at long-range because their hearing organs are ‘particle-velocity’ receptors, has clouded the fact that particle-velocity is an intrinsic component of sound whatever the distance to the sound source. We exposed free-flying Anopheles coluzzii females to pre-recorded sounds of male An. coluzzii and An. gambiae s.s. swarms over a range of natural sound-levels. Sound-levels tested were related to equivalent distances between the female and the swarm for a given number of males, enabling us to infer distances over which females might hear large male-swarms. We show that females do not respond to swarm sound up to 48 dB SPL and that louder SPLs are not ecologically relevant for a swarm. Considering that swarms are the only mosquito sound-source that would be loud enough to be heard at long-range, we conclude that inter-mosquito acoustic communication is restricted to close-range pair interactions. We also showed that the sensitivity to sound in free-flying males is much enhanced compared to that of tethered ones.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: anopheles gambiae, free-flying mosquitoes, long-range hearing, mating swarm, mosquito hearing, speciation
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Pest Behaviour Research Group
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 10:38
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/31626

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