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It Seems Mosquitoes Can Learn

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I’m not so sure about this, while obviously every living things has to have the ability to learn (it’s automatic for survival) but here is the part of the article that I’ve seen myself to NOT be the case.

They say, “It turns out that disease-carrying mosquitoes possess the remarkable ability to associate a person’s unique scent with any near-death experiences they may have had while attempting to feed on them.

As such, if a person attempts to swat a mosquito and misses, the insect will remember that this happened and make a point to steer clear of them for the foreseeable future”

Really? I’ve seen them rush right back in (the same one) to try and get some ‘blood milkshake’ right after being swatted at….I dunno, perhaps the behavior varies greatly from mosquito to mosquito.

via Unexplained-Mysteries:

Mosquitoes learn from their experiences.

A new experiment has revealed that mosquitoes are able to remember when a person tries to swat them.

It turns out that disease-carrying mosquitoes possess the remarkable ability to associate a person’s unique scent with any near-death experiences they may have had while attempting to feed on them.

As such, if a person attempts to swat a mosquito and misses, the insect will remember that this happened and make a point to steer clear of them for the foreseeable future.

To test this effect in a laboratory setting, scientists exposed mosquitoes to a human scent and then used a special mechanism to emulate the vibrations the insects might feel after an attempted swat.

The results indicated that the mosquitoes chose to avoid that particular scent for up to 24 hours – making the technique just as effective as using an over-the-counter repellent spray.

When the team repeated the experiment with the insects’ dopamine channels disabled however, this learning behavior was entirely absent and they simply flew straight back to the same target.

“That learning ability makes them incredibly flexible,” said neuroecologist Jeff Riffell.

“It means they can learn associations about who is more defensive and who isn’t, and if we can prevent that, they’ll never learn and can be swatted away way more effectively.”

Unexplained-Mysteries
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 JJ Harrison


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The Country of Ethiopia has 13 Months, Celebrates New Year on September 11th
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