Why are there mosquitoes in the ecological sense

The whirring sleep robbers

Why do mosquitoes betray themselves by their flight noises?

Mosquitoes seem to be born to drive us humans crazy at night. Their typical high-pitched whirring during the flight reveals their presence and is also their undoing again and again. But why don't mosquitoes fly noiselessly?

Mücke - Photo: Helge May

Mosquitoes seem to be born to drive us humans crazy at night. Thanks to a highly sensitive sense of smell and CO2 sensors, you can find us in the deepest darkness - even if we pull the duvet up over our noses. The body's own heat sensors guide the insects to blood vessels that are just below the skin.



While they penetrate there with their flexible and at the same time stable mouthpiece, they numb the puncture site with a pain reliever. So they go unnoticed at first and can tap into us in peace. Only their typical high-pitched whirring during the flight betrays their presence and mosquitoes are always fatal. But why don't mosquitoes fly noiselessly?

On the one hand, it is simply because the muscles and wing vibrations in the air create noise. On the other hand, males and females of the same mosquito species recognize each other by their flight noises. A mute mosquito would be more successful in foraging for food, but it would be difficult to find a sexual partner.

For questions:
Julian Heiermann
NABU insect expert
Tel. 030/284 984 1616
[email protected]


You can also find this article in the magazine "kraut & rüben - magazine for biological gardening and natural living", with which NABU started a cooperation in December 2009. Julian Heiermann tells an "animal story" in every monthly issue.


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