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Author Topic: Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?  (Read 13212 times)

Offline Maya

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Maya asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Naked Scientists,

I am newbielink:http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/ [nonactive] via Secondlife..

I would like to ask a question.. can you tell us why mosquitoes and other insects often swirl and swarm in circles beneath trees during the summer?
What do you think?


 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #1 on: 21/04/2009 01:41:12 »
I think it might be because mosquitoes don't like to fly far from their breeding area. Are you sure they are mosquitoes?
 

Offline Karen W.

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #2 on: 21/04/2009 06:36:58 »
I think mostly its because there is more moisture under the trees due to te shading from the brances so the undergrowth stays wetter and is a better inviroment for the little stinkers to live in damp dark areas....
 

Offline dentstudent

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #3 on: 21/04/2009 08:39:32 »
Its likely to be a result of the process of selection. Those that fly out of the swarm have a higher likelihood of being predated and there are therefore fewer of them.
 

Offline Don_1

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #4 on: 21/04/2009 09:11:19 »
This doesn't only happen under trees. Drive through a marsh area on a summer evening (as I do sometimes on the A13 out of London through  Rainham Marshes in Essex) and you can see columns of mozzies from a mile off or more.
 

Offline dentstudent

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #5 on: 21/04/2009 09:12:54 »
and you can see columns of mozzies from a mile off or more.

Gosh, Don! What big eyes you must have!
 

Offline Don_1

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #6 on: 21/04/2009 09:44:59 »
and you can see columns of mozzies from a mile off or more.

Gosh, Don! What big eyes you must have!

Now don't start that again! Or have you been reading Little Red Riding Hood again?

Seriously, these columns must contain millions of the blood sucking little gits. I would estimate the columns to be around 1 - 2m wide and maybe 8 - 10m high.
 

Offline dentstudent

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #7 on: 21/04/2009 09:53:11 »
;)

This phenomenon can also be seen on a much larger scale above Lake Victoria, where the columns grow to several hundred metres high. The locals catch them and bake them into a biscuit. Nice, eh?
 

Offline Don_1

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #8 on: 21/04/2009 09:57:06 »
I never did like Garibaldi's
 

Offline Maya

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #9 on: 24/04/2009 00:10:54 »
Thank you fellow forum participants for the responses to the question so far ;-)
Don_1 is right in saying it actually doesn't only restrict to trees, although one often sees the phenomena there.
They do so even above people's heads...or right in the open...
Could it be some kind of an energy build up.. or means of communication...?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #10 on: 24/04/2009 01:45:58 »
Means of communication, I like that thought! :)
 

Offline dentstudent

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #11 on: 24/04/2009 08:51:32 »
Thank you fellow forum participants for the responses to the question so far ;-)
Don_1 is right in saying it actually doesn't only restrict to trees, although one often sees the phenomena there.
They do so even above people's heads...or right in the open...
Could it be some kind of an energy build up.. or means of communication...?


Mosquitoes are attracted to CO2 that is exhaled in your breath and so it is natural that there should be a swarm above you.
 

Offline tangoblue

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #12 on: 02/05/2009 23:36:10 »
This doesn't only happen under trees. Drive through a marsh area on a summer evening (as I do sometimes on the A13 out of London through  Rainham Marshes in Essex) and you can see columns of mozzies from a mile off or more.

Thats because the swamp is moist and mozzies LOVE moist areas and a swamp to them i imagine would be like heaven on earth... except i wounder what they eat, mozzies i mean.
 

Offline chris

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #13 on: 12/05/2009 00:18:14 »
Mosquito diets vary according to sex and time of year. Only female mosquitoes drink blood, which they do during the breeding season because they use it as a source of protein to sustain egg-laying. Later in the year, pre-winter, they switch to consuming sugary liquids from fruits, which is what the males eat the rest of the time. This diet switch is called diapause and is in anticipation of the onset of winter. The sugar intake enables the insects to lay down fat reserves which can sustain certain species through winter.

Chris
 

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Why do mosquitoes form circular swarms beneath trees?
« Reply #13 on: 12/05/2009 00:18:14 »

 

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