What's the Buzz?

How mosquitoes find mates

10-01-2006 // Hannah Schardt

THE BUZZ of a mosquito may be annoying to humans, but to mosquitoes of the opposite gender, it's positively alluring. British researchers have found that pairs of flying Toxorhynchites brevipalpis--African mosquitoes that feed on nectar, not blood--alter their flight tones when they approach each other. As a male nears a female, their tones grow more similar, signaling a willingness to mate. As same-sex insects approach each other, however, their buzzes grow more dissimilar and the animals keep their distance. The researchers say it is "highly likely" that their findings hold true for other species.

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