Science

Mosquitoes dodge efforts to swat them by surfing a wave of a

Anopheles gambiae mosquito

Anopheles mosquitoes can be difficult to swat while in flight

Boyd Norton/Alamy

Even under the cover of darkness, mosquitoes are surprisingly difficult to swat, and we may be closer to understanding why. They sense and exploit the airflow created by a swatter moving at speed and quickly reorientate themselves so they can ride the air pressure waves to safety.

Little is known about how flying insects anticipate and avoid looming threats in the dark, so Antoine Cribellier and colleagues at Wageningen University in the Netherlands put Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes to the test. …


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