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Mosquitoes ‘love’ certain colors: study reveals which ones

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Scientists have found that mosquitoes are attracted to certain colors, including red, orange, and black. Conversely, they ignore green, purple, blue, and white.

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New study, conducted by experts from the University of Washington, showed how mosquitoes look for their prey after they smell it. The results of the work of scientists published the journal Nature Communication.

According to scientists, human skinregardless of pigmentation, emits a strong red-orange “signal”to which mosquitoes respond

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“When these insects smell certain compounds, such as CO2 from our breath, that smell stimulates their eyes to scan for certain colors and other visual patterns associated with potential prey and head towards them,” said study lead author Geoffrey Riffell, professor of biology. University of Washington

The findings show how mosquitoes’ sense of smell affects their response to visual cues.

“One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What can I do to keep mosquitoes from biting me?” I said earlier that there are three main signs that mosquitoes use to find prey: your breath, your sweat, and your skin temperature. In this study, we found a fourth trait – red, which can be found not only on your clothes, but also on the skin of every person, ”said Riffell.

In their own experiments, a team of scientists tracked the behavior of female mosquitoes. After all, it is known that only the females of most mosquito species drink blood.

The researchers placed the insects in test chambers, where they sprayed specific odors and presented various types of visual patterns, such as a colored dot or a human hand.

Without any odor stimuli, the mosquitoes ignored the painted dot on the bottom of the chamber, regardless of its color.

However, after spraying CO2 into the chamber, mosquitoes flew towards it if it was red, orange, black, or blue. If the dot was painted in green, blue, or purple, the little bloodsuckers ignored it.

Scientists explain this as follows: a person does not smell exhaled CO2, while mosquitoes hear it. It increases the activity level of females, and they begin to look around for a source of smell in order to find food for themselves.

Scientists compared this to a situation where a person walking down the street suddenly smells some kind of “delicious” smell, for example, cinnamon pies, and begins to look with his eyes for a bakery or a place selling pastries to feast on.

“In the study, we looked at what visuals mosquitoes look for after sniffing their ‘version of a bakery,'” Riffell explained.

Experiments with colored spots have shown that after smelling CO2, mosquito eyes prefer certain wavelengths in the visible spectrum.

A person sees different wavelengths of light as different colors: for example, a wavelength of 650 nanometers is displayed as red, and a wavelength of 450 nanometers is blue.

Researchers don’t know if mosquito eyes perceive colors in the same way that humans do. But most of the colors that mosquitoes prefer after smelling carbon dioxide—orange, red, and black—correspond to long wavelengths of light.

When the researchers used filters to remove long-wavelength signals or put on a green, purple, blue or white glove, the mosquitoes did not fly to the stimulus after being sprayed in the CO2 chamber.

Knowing which colors hungry mosquitoes react to and which they are indifferent to can help develop more effective insect repellent methods.

As reported by GLOBAL HAPPENINGS, flying insect-sized robots have been created in Britain, they will be used for artificial pollination of plants over large areas.

Source: Obozrevatel

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