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

J. Spitzen, C.W. Spoor, F. Grieco, C.J.F. ter Braak, J. Beeuwkes, S.P. van Brugge, S. Kranenbarg, L. Noldus, J.L. van Leeuwen, W. Takken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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 Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto 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 (
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere62995
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • female culex-quinquefasciatus
  • fine-scale structure
  • mm-x traps
  • carbon-dioxide
  • upwind flight
  • host odor
  • diptera-culicidae
  • pheromone plumes
  • aedes-aegypti
  • tsetse-flies

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