How Tiny Mosquitoes Survive Raindrops’ Blow | Insect Flight…

18 Мар 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
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How Tiny Mosquitoes Survive Blow

A mosquito among droplets. Thanks to their low mosquitoes can survive hits droplets 50 times their own

Credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Tech

A mosquito getting hit by a is the equivalent of a human getting hit by a But new research finds that bloodsucking insects have no absorbing the blow.

Mosquitoes so little that raindrops splash on them, researchers Monday (June 4) in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences. mosquitoes get stuck to the drops, up to 20 times the length of their before freeing themselves and off, unharmed.

The drop comes at the speed of a and instead of the mosquito resisting the applied by the drop, it basically adhered to the drop like a study leader David Hu, a of mechanical engineering and biology at Tech, told LiveScience.

By this, the mosquito really the force that gets by the drop, Hu said. [Gallery: Mosquitoes ]

Withstanding raindrops

uncanny ability to survive may be key to their survival in humid It may also be key to engineering tiny flying machines that can outdoor environments, Hu said.

No one had researched how these flying might survive rain, nor had studied how living insects do so, Hu So he and his colleagues engineered an experiment to … mosquitoes with droplets to see how they’d respond. put mosquitoes in mesh cages, vibrated every few seconds to the mosquitoes from landing. then dropped water on the with the same forces would be present in a rainstorm.

raindrops are up to 50 times the weight of a it was immediately clear that were not fatal. Glancing sent mosquitoes spinning in the but they soon recovered. hits resulted in the mosquitoes and drops falling together the insects got free and continued flight.

Surviving the deluge

To understand how the survived, Hu and his colleagues suspended pellets of various weights water droplets. and found mosquitoes’ low mass explains ability to survive. If a mosquito on a twig gets hit by a droplet, the will crush the insect 10,000 times its body in force. But if a mosquito is hit in midair, 10 percent of the droplet’s force to the insect’s body. That’s about 0.02 ounces grams) for a typical droplet, the of a mosquito being hit by a feather.

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In contrast, a dragonfly that more than 1,000 that of a mosquito would 90 percent of a droplet’s force. The dragonfly would stop the rather than surfing it like the lightweight mosquito.

something special about very lightweight, Hu said.


If fly too close to the ground, they do … by droplet, the researchers The insects need to leave five to 20 body lengths to from the raindrops, or they’ll hit the at a speed of 1,000 mosquito per second.

In their natural environment, probably seek shelter rain, Hu said. But they to be able to survive the first during that mad dash. Hu and his now plan to investigate how mosquitoes with other inclement conditions, such as dew .

It’s known that these are robust. They basically can any kind of wind and most conditions, Hu said. We want to what body adaptations do have to survive these of things and how can that be used for

You can follow LiveScience senior Stephanie Pappas on Twitter . Follow LiveScience for the latest in news and discoveries on Twitter and on Facebook .

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