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[科学美国人60秒] 【整理】SSS 2009-01-09

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This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Karen Hopkin. This will just take a minute.

 

Have you ever turned off your lights and heard"wu~~". To you it's a sound that signals bites in the night. But to a male mosquito it's a love song,produced by a female seeking a mate. Now scientists in Cornell University find that males who answer that call join in the serenade. And two sing in harmony as they check each other out. Working with Aedes aegypti mosquitos - the pest that carry dengue fever- the scientists tethered individuals to a special insect pin and allowed them to fly pass potential mate. They found they females on their own whine at a frequency of 400 Hz. Whereas single males buzz about 600. But the two come together,they perform a duet in which the beat of their wings reaches a frantic 1200 Hz. Isn't it beautiful? Mosquitoes seem to think so. Which is a surprise, because reseachers had previously thought that female mosquitoes are deaf. But the Cornell scientists found that mosquito ears are good up to 2000Hz, results pubilished in January 9th issue of Science. Maybe that hamonizing could be exploited for controlling mosquito populations. Releasing into the wild males that can't sing could be a real buzz-kill.

 

Thanks for the minute,for Scientific American's 60-Second Science, I'm Karen Hopkin.

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