Incredible mosquito larvae hunting technique, shown in slow motion

Incredible mosquito larvae hunting technique, shown in slow motion

Using high-speed microkinetics, scientists filmed three types of mosquito predator larvae. Their technique, shown in these images, is that they throw their head forward to catch their prey. The details of the work were published in a magazine.

Microkinetics gives us access to an exciting world that would otherwise be inaccessible to us. Some organisms are too small or too fast to be seen in any other way. In a new study, scientists have studied the larvae of predatory mosquitoes.

These mosquitoes are members of the blood-sucking mosquito family and are known worldwide. Adaptation studies in Florida show that some of them are cannibalists at the larvae stage, i.e. they hunt the larvae of other mosquitoes. For this new work, the team focused on three other species that have so far escaped the most sophisticated devices. They are called Toxorhynchites Amboinensis, Psorophora ciliata and Sabethes cyaneus.

Head's like a harpoon.

Researchers found that the first two species had caught their prey, throwing their head away from the body like a harpoon, with their mouth open, and then returning the victim in a fraction of a second. This behavior had never been seen before. ', said Robert Hancock, a biologist at the Denver State University of Metropolitan, who led the study. None of us could believe what we saw.

Interestingly, even though these two species are only distant relatives, they have both developed very similar fishing techniques, and researchers have also experimented to see if these species are cannibalistic; they have discovered that all the larvae of the same species remain alive; in other words, these larvae hunt other insects.

Al Jay Tsvibel, a mosquito expert at Vanderbilt University, compared these larvae to top predators, such as sharks and lions.

The species Sabethes cyaneus, on the other hand, uses a completely different mining technique. This is to bend the body to carry the prey to the mouth. Then the larvae use their larvae to tear their prey apart and sometimes eat it.

What can this study do?

In addition to satisfying our natural curiosity, a better understanding of mosquitoes at the larvae stage can lead to more effective management strategies; for example, mosquitoes of the species Toxorhynchites amboinensis are not vectors of disease because they survive mainly from plant juices; however, as larvae predators feeding on other species, they have been used as a means of controlling the growth of dangerous mosquito populations.