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Day and night-biting mosquitoes respond differently to colors of light and time of day

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In new research, researchers found that the night-versus day-biting types of mosquitoes are attracted and repulsed by various shades of light at various times of the day. Mosquitoes are among significant malady vectors that affecting people and animals around the world and the discoveries have an important hint for utilizing light to control them.

The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine-drove group investigated the daytime-biting mosquito species (Aedes aegypti, otherwise known as the Yellow Fever mosquito) and night time-biting mosquito species (Anopheles coluzzi, an individual from the Anopheles gambiae family, the significant vector for jungle fever).

They discovered different reactions to # ultraviolet light and different shades of light between the two species. Scientists also discovered that light preference also varies with mosquito’s sex and species, the time of day, and the shade of the light.

The new study titled, “Circadian Regulation of Light-Evoked Attraction and Avoidance Behaviors in Daytime- versus Nighttime-Biting Mosquitoes,” is published in Current Biology. Lisa S. Baik, a UCI School of Medicine graduate student researcher who recently completed her Ph.D. work, is the first author.

Mosquitoes are very dangerous to people and animals as illness vectors. It is historically estimated that mosquito-borne disease has a great contribution to the death of half of all people ever to have lived. The new research shows that day-biting mosquitoes, especially females collect blood for the meal of their fertilized eggs.

At the day time, day-biting mosquitoes are attracted by lightly shaded spectra, but night-biting mosquitoes explicitly maintain a strategic distance from bright (UV) and blue light. In the Holmes lab, a previous experiment by using fruit flies (which are related to mosquitoes) has determined the light sensors and circadian atomic systems for light-mediated attraction.

Likewise, sub-atomic interruption of the circadian clock seriously light-evoked attraction and avoidance behaviors in mosquitoes. At present, light-based insect controls don’t mull over the day versus night conduct profiles that change with day by daylight and dull cycles.

“Light is the primary regulator of circadian rhythms and evokes a wide range of time-of-day specific behaviors,” said Holmes. “By gaining an understanding of how insects respond to short wavelength light in a species-specific manner, we can develop new, environmentally friendly alternatives to controlling harmful insects more effectively and reduce the need for environmentally damaging toxic pesticides.”

Source / Journal DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.06.010
Via / Provided by: University of California, Irvine

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