Doze over dine: Sleepy mosquitoes ignore food, says a study

Edited By: Manas Joshi
New Delhi Updated: Jun 15, 2022, 05:31 PM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( Others )

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So in essence, mosquitoes do value sleep, but only their own

Mosquitoes sleeping is something that's unbelievable to many of us, in the first place. The nasty insects appear to know when we are at the sweet spot of our slumber and carry out deep calculations to give us the cursed prick. Well yes, mosquito bites are serious as they can spread disease. But on a comfortable night, these bites can make us prefer hell.

But apparently, mosquitoes do sleep. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati can attest to that. Not only this, they've also concluded that if mosquitoes are sleep deprived, they prefer to sleep rather than go on blood-sucking frenzy.

So in essence, mosquitoes do value sleep, but only their own.

To check when the mosquitoes slept, researchers released the insects in small enclosures inside laboratory and used cameras and infrared sensors to keep an eye on them.

They determined that mosquitoes slept when their abdomens dropped to ground and hind legs drooped.

Some of the mosquitoes were then kept in clear tubes and were sleep deprived for 12 hours. This was done by vibrating the tubes every few minutes. After that, their reaction to a possible host was tested by inserting a pad of artificial sweat.

It was found that sleep-deprived mosquitoes were markedly less interested in food and preferred instead to catch a few Zs.

The study has been published in Journal of Experimental Biology.

Such studies may be useful to control population of mosquitoes by knowing their body cycles.

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