The buzzing bloodsuckers flap their long
wings in narrow strokes really, really fast — more than 800 times per
second in males. That’s four times faster than similarly sized insects.
“The incredibly high wingbeat frequency of mosquitoes is simply
mind-boggling,” says David Lentink, who studies flight at Stanford
Mosquitoes mostly hover. Still, it takes a lot of
oomph and some unorthodox techniques to fly that slowly. Mosquitoes
manage to stay aloft thanks primarily to two novel ways to generate lift when they rotate their wings , Richard Bomphrey and colleagues write March 29 in Nature.
The insects essentially recycle the energy from the wake of a preceding
wing stroke and then tightly rotate their wings to remain in flight. Read more.
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