Most mosquitoes are annoying, and a severe well being threat. However some aren’t. Just a few even assist do away with different mosquitoes. Now, scientists have found the head-popping secret that turns the larvae of some mosquitoes into lethal hunters of different mosquitoes.
It could appear stunning, however not all mosquitoes suck blood. In actual fact, some mosquitoes could be fairly useful.
Elephant mosquitoes are bigger than common mosquitoes. As an alternative of blood, they stay off of juices from vegetation. Even higher, elephant mosquitoes may also help scale back the variety of blood-sucking mosquitoes.
Scientists have lengthy identified that some mosquito larvae eat different insect larvae. A larva is a stage some bugs undergo as they develop from eggs into adults. Larvae normally look very completely different from grownup bugs, and eat completely different meals.
Mosquito larvae can’t fly. As an alternative, they stay in water, and look a bit of like worms. Mosquitoes can develop in a puddle, or perhaps a bottle cap of water. As a result of they solely want tiny quantities of water to develop, controlling mosquitoes could be very laborious.
However the larvae of elephant mosquitoes are fairly good at controlling mosquitoes. They’ve a secret trick that makes them lethal hunters of different mosquito larvae.
Dr. Robert Hancock, who works at Metropolitan State College of Denver, had seen mosquito larvae attacking different larvae over 30 years in the past. But it surely all occurred so shortly that it was not possible to inform what had occurred. The entire thing took simply 15 milliseconds. That’s 15/1,000 of a second.
“The one factor that we noticed was a blur of motion,” he mentioned. Since then, Dr. Hancock has been very inquisitive about precisely how these larvae captured their prey. However to grasp what was taking place, he wanted a approach to sluggish all of it down.
So with a crew of scholars, he started to movie the mosquito larvae in sluggish movement. To verify they caught all of the motion, they recorded utilizing a particular microscope beneath vivid lights. Their digicam might seize about 4,000 pictures each second. What they discovered was stunning.
When the mosquito larvae received near their prey, their heads shot off their our bodies to gobble the larvae up. Solely a tiny connection remained between the pinnacle and the physique. As soon as they’d their prey of their sharp-toothed jaws, they devoured them up shortly. Dr. Hancock says it seems to be a bit of like a sizzling dog-eating contest.
Along with elephant mosquitoes, the researchers studied the larvae of two other forms of mosquitoes. Certainly one of these additionally shot its head out to seize its prey. The opposite used its tail to abruptly push the prey into its jaws.
Studying extra about how these mosquito larvae hunters work isn’t simply fascinating. It may very well be extraordinarily helpful. Elephant mosquito larvae eat the larvae of a few of the most dangerous mosquitoes round. A single elephant mosquito larva can eat as much as 5,000 larvae of different mosquitoes earlier than it turns into an grownup.
There’s only one catch. For elephant mosquito larvae to be helpful in controlling harmful mosquitoes, they should be in the identical water because the larvae of the opposite mosquitoes.
Did You Know…?
Should you’d prefer to see the mosquito larvae in motion, you will discover two quick movies on this web page.