The antennae of male mosquitoes help them find female mosquitoes by sensing the frequency of their wingbeats with fine, hair-like structures.
"The antennae of male mosquitoes and midges are also adapted to find females of their kind, but in a different way. The brush-like male antennae are sensitive to sound waves, particularly to those of the frequency of the wingbeat of females; so when a male midge 'hears' a female with his antennae, he flies towards the source of the good vibrations. The response is so simple that the insect will be attracted to anything producing vibrations at the correct frequency (even a tuning-fork)…" (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:133)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Foy, Sally; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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