Sound plays an important role in the mating behavior of mosquitoes, including Aedes aegypti (L). Males orient to the fundamental wing beat frequency of females, and both sexes actively modulate their flight tone before mating to converge at harmonic frequencies. The majority of studies on mosquito mating acoustics have been conducted in the laboratory using tethered individuals. In this study, we present the first free-flight recording of naturally forming Ae. aegypti swarms in Thailand. We describe mating behaviors and present results on the flight tone frequency and dynamics of wild pairs in free flight. To assess the importance of these behaviors in vector control programs, especially those using genetically modified mosquitoes, it will be critical to use methods, such as those described in this work, to measure mosquito mating behaviors in the field.
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Vol. 48 • No. 4