An important element of mating in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae Giles in nature is the crepuscular mating aggregation (swarm) composed almost entirely of males, where most coupling and insemination is generally believed to occur. In this study, we mathematically characterize the oscillatory movement of male An. gambiae in terms of an established individual-based mechanistic model that parameterizes the attraction of a mosquito toward the center of the swarm using the natural frequency of oscillation and the resistance to its motion, characterized by the damping ratio. Using three-dimensional trajectory data of ten wild mosquito swarms filmed in Mali, Africa, we show two new results for low and moderate wind conditions, and indicate how these results may vary in high wind. First, we show that in low and moderate wind the vertical component of the mosquito motion has a lower frequency of oscillation and higher damping ratio than horizontal motion. In high wind, the vertical and horizontal motions are similar to one another and the natural frequencies are higher than in low and moderate wind. Second, we show that the predicted average disagreement in the direction of motion of swarming mosquitoes moving randomly is greater than the average disagreement we observed between each mosquito and its three closest neighbors, with the smallest level of disagreement occurring for the nearest neighbor in seven out of 10 swarms. The alignment of the direction of motion between nearest neighbors is the highest in high wind. This result provides evidence for flight-path coordination between swarming male mosquitoes.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 50 • No. 3