Scientists have found that raindrops have no effect on the mosquitoes.
This research has been done by scientists and engineers from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and has been published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /]In this research, scientists use a combination of real-time videos and mathematical calculations to show that the physically resilient structure of the Anopheles mosquitoes allow them to withstand even huge sized raindrops. It is the same Anopheles mosquito that spreads malaria in humans.
In this research, scientists caged six mosquitoes in a 20-centimeter high acrylic cage covered with a mesh top permitting the water to move in but prohibiting the movement of mosquitoes out. The researchers shot jets of water into the cage to simulate raindrops falling 10 meters, which is the height at which they achieve their maximum velocity. The falling drops of water was then filmed with high-speed video camera capturing 4000 frames per second.
Scientists found that the mosquitoes recover their flights even when they were directly hit by the drops of water. Researchers have suggested that due to the low mass of the insects, i.e. about 2 milligrams, raindrops, which are of the size of about 100 milligrams, deform and largely bypass the much smaller bodies of the mosquitoes.
This finding is helpful in finding the ways to fight the little insects and in improving the design of tiny robots.
Reference: Andrew K. Dickerson, Peter G. Shankles, Nihar M. Madhavan, and David L. Hu, (2012). Mosquitoes survive raindrop collisions by virtue of their low mass. PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1205446109