The Serenade of the Sterile Mosquito

  by  |  January 12th, 2009  |  Published in All, Animals & Life Science, Blog

 |  Stumble |  Share on Facebook |  Tweet This | 

A new study from Cornell University has introduced new information about the mating “song” of mosquitoes that could help scientists engineer—you guessed it—sexier mosquitoes! (Yes, seriously.)


This is not just a biological parlor trick: Once they know what frequencies and harmonies female mosquitoes are attracted to, scientists can then release extremely hunky yet sterile male mosquitoes into the wild to compete with the natural insects. The sterile Don Juans can then out-buzz the regular suckers and voila! Happy females, zero offspring.

For places that are affected by dengue fever—most commonly tropical locations, even in the urban areas—this could be a valuable way to control mosquito populations, and a primary method of prevention for this deadly disease.

To analyze the mosquitoes’ love duets, Cornell experts Ron Hoy and Laura Harrington, along with their colleagues, tethered the insects and used a special microphone to record the sounds of their flirting (or, whatever mosquitoes’ version of "come here often?" is).

As they wrote in the journal Science, the resulting song between the male and female produces a sound roughly an octave and a half above a concert A. Listen to it here. Not what we’d call perfect pitch, but music to mosquitoes’ ears, at least.

According to the World Health Organization, about two-fifths of the world’s population is at risk from dengue. The Cornell study was funded by a grant from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health to support research for a cure and methods of mosquito control. As of right now, the disease has no specific treatment, no vaccine, and no cure. Our best bet for fighting dengue might just lie in the sweet song of a sexy, sterile mosquito.

 |  Stumble |  Share on Facebook |  Tweet This | 


  1. Frank Davis at Play « JdN Old Posts Part 2 says:

    August 4th, 2010 at 12:33 am (#)

    [...] with in preference to ordinary, viable mosquitos. (see “Serenade of the Sterile Mosquite at:…rile-mosquito/). If they are successful in this endeavor scientists will have a chance of seriously cutting down [...]

  2. blog says:

    November 10th, 2011 at 3:17 am (#)

    you’re really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a excellent job on this topic!

  3. agate cameos pendant says:

    March 22nd, 2013 at 4:06 pm (#)

    Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!| agate cameos pendant

  4. papaka says:

    March 22nd, 2013 at 4:31 pm (#)

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it ;) I may return once again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.| papaka

  5. foto nunti says:

    March 23rd, 2013 at 2:39 am (#)

    I’m not sure why but this website is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.| foto nunti

  6. forex says:

    March 23rd, 2013 at 8:36 am (#)

    I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted at this website is truly nice.| forex

  7. FreightforwardinginKen says:

    March 23rd, 2013 at 8:47 am (#)

    This is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!| Freight forwarding in Kenya

  8. bewerbungsfotosMünchen says:

    March 23rd, 2013 at 10:14 am (#)

    I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A couple of my blog audience have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this problem?| bewerbungsfotos München USA visum fotos

  9. AlternativestoGooglese says:

    March 24th, 2013 at 1:00 pm (#)

    Thanks for scripting this incredibly good write-up..Liked your content articles. Be sure to do retain writing Alternatives to Google search engine

  10. says:

    August 9th, 2014 at 10:50 am (#)

    Hi to every , since I am actually eager of reading this weblog’s post to be updated on a regular basis.
    It includes pleasant information.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site how to become millionaire;,

  11. breeze freestanding richell says:

    October 17th, 2014 at 10:14 pm (#)

    If you want to increase your familiarity only keep visiting this site and be updated with the most recent information posted here.

  12. ounce api melafix antibacterial says:

    October 23rd, 2014 at 2:15 am (#)

    Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this website on a regular basis, this
    web site is really pleasant and the visitors are genuinely sharing good thoughts.

  13. Yuki says:

    April 5th, 2015 at 6:24 am (#)

    Mosquito love me too Gwilym – if there is one within a mile he will find me out. I do agree about care in the third world – click on my link to noma in Africa to see the aplnpliag disfigurement to children through malnutrition and lack of anti biotics – shameful.Incidentally, if you have time please read my recent RS Thomas blog – I would be interested in your comments.

  14. auto insurance quote Tampa says:

    April 14th, 2015 at 1:19 pm (#)

    These years of austerity advantageous virtual anxiousness about delightful taking place debt, a lot of people draw back in the lead against the idea of making manipulate of a credit card to make acquisition of merchandise as thriving as compensate used for a trip, preferring, instead only to rely proceeding a tried as fine as trusted method of making payment raw ready money. Still, proviso you possess coins on hand over to compose the procure in full, then, strangely enough, that’s the best epoch representing you to use the credit cards for several good reasons.

  15. リッチェルの情報 says:

    December 14th, 2018 at 3:04 am (#)


Leave a Response


Clicky Web Analytics