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 University.
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.