Richard W. Mankin
Agric. Res. Service, Insect Attractants, Behavior, and Basic Biology Lab., P. O. Box 14565, Gainesville, FL 32604
Swarms of Aedes taeniorhynchus mosquitos produce sounds that can be detected from 10--50 m at 25--35 dB (re: 20 (mu)Pa) in a quiet environment. The loudness of the swarms is above the 21-dB acoustical background between frequencies of 0.6 and 3.4 kHz in an isolated salt marsh, but below the 40--60 dB background of a typical urban environment. Individual Ae. taeniorhynchus have wingbeat frequencies ((plus or minus)standard error) of 441(plus or minus)21 Hz and 703(plus or minus)17 at 24 (degrees)C, detectable from 3 cm at 22--25 dB in an anechoic chamber. In the marsh, females beat their wings at 400--500 Hz and males at >800 Hz, depending on their size and the temperature. Because of their low wingbeat sound intensities, the only individual Ae. taeniorhynchus mosquitoes that can be detected are those flying within 2--5 cm of the microphone. These frequency and loudness measurements suggest that it is technologically feasible to construct an acoustical device for remote surveillance of Ae. taeniorhynchus swarms or individuals attracted to a bait. Further studies to correlate detection of wingbeat sounds with numbers of mosquitoes captured at a bait are in progress.