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Low-Frequency Sounds Repel Male Mosquitoes Aedes diantaeus N.D.K. (Diptera, Culicidae)

Abstract

We experimentally demonstrated that tonal acoustic signals with a carrier frequency of 140–200 Hz had a repellent effect on male mosquitoes (Culicidae). Swarming males of Aedes diantaeus were concentrated in a small space near the auxiliary attracting sound source which simulated the flight sound of conspecific females (carrier frequency 280–320 Hz). Then, the resulting cluster of attracted mosquitoes was stimulated with test signals of variable amplitude and carrier frequency from a second loudspeaker. The direction of mosquito flight from the source of test sounds and a decrease in their number above the attracting sound source were used as the criteria of behavioral response. Pronounced avoidance responses (negative phonotaxis) of swarming mosquitoes were observed in the range of 140–200 Hz. Most of the mosquitoes left the area above the attracting sound source within one second after the onset of the test signal. Mosquitoes mostly flew up, sideways, and backwards in relation to the test acoustic vector. We presume that mosquitoes develop defensive behavior against attacking predatory insects based on analysis of auditory information. The range of negative phonotaxis is limited at higher frequencies by the spectrum of the flight sounds of conspecific females, and in the low frequency range, by the increasing level of atmospheric noise.

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Correspondence to D. N. Lapshin.

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Original Russian Text © D.N. Lapshin, D.D. Vorontsov, 2018, published in Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie, 2018, Vol. 97, No. 2, pp. 194–202.

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Lapshin, D.N., Vorontsov, D.D. Low-Frequency Sounds Repel Male Mosquitoes Aedes diantaeus N.D.K. (Diptera, Culicidae). Entmol. Rev. 98, 266–271 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1134/S0013873818030028

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