A 3D Analysis of Flight Behavior of Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto Malaria Mosquitoes in Response to Human Odor and Heat

Collection UNKNOWN
Spitzen, Jeroen ; W. Spoor, Cornelis ; Grieco, Fabrizio ; ter Braak, Cajo ; Beeuwkes, Jacob ; P. van Brugge, Sjaak ; Kranenbarg, Sander ; P. J. J. Noldus, Lucas ; L. van Leeuwen, Johan ; Takken, Willem (2013)
  • Publisher: Figshare
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062995
  • Subject: mosquitoes | anopheles | behavioral ecology | neuroscience | animal behavior | infectious diseases | microbiology | gambiae | olfactory system | Medicine | odor | malaria | Biological Sciences | 3d | ecology | evolutionary biology | vector biology | entomology | sensory systems | sensu | vectors and hosts | zoology
    mesheuropmc: parasitic diseases

<div><p>Female mosquitoes use odor and heat as cues to navigate to a suitable landing site on their blood host. The way these cues affect flight behavior and modulate anemotactic responses, however, is poorly understood. We studied in-flight behavioral responses of females of the nocturnal malaria mosquito <i>Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto</i> to human odor and heat. Flight-path characteristics in a wind tunnel (flow 20 cm/s) were quantified in three dimensions. With wind as the only stimulus (control), short and close to straight upwind flights were recorded. With heat alone, flights were similarly short and direct. The presence of human odor, in contrast, caused prolonged and highly convoluted flight patterns. The combination of odor+heat resulted in longer flights with more landings on the source than to either cue alone. Flight speed was greatest (mean groundspeed 27.2 cm/s) for odor+heat. Odor alone resulted in decreased flight speed when mosquitoes arrived within 30 cm of the source whereas mosquitoes exposed to odor+heat maintained a high flight speed while flying in the odor plume, until they arrived within 15 cm of the source. Human odor evoked an increase in crosswind flights with an additive effect of heat at close range (<15 cm) to the source. This was found for both horizontal and vertical flight components. However, mosquitoes nevertheless made upwind progress when flying in the odor+heat generated plume, suggesting that mosquitoes scan their environment intensively while they progress upwind towards their host. These observations may help to improve the efficacy of trapping systems for malaria mosquitoes by (1) optimizing the site of odor release relative to trap entry and (2) adding a heat source which enhances a landing response.</p></div>
Share - Bookmark

  • Download from
    figshare via figshare (Collection, 2013)
  • Cite this research product