Why mosquitoes don’t sink explained in reports in ScienceDaily and ScienceShots 3 March 2015 and AIP Advances doi: 10.1063/1.4908027. Mosquitoes are one of a number of insects that can walk on water. It is known that their legs are covered with water repellent scales, but this is not enough to explain their ability to walk on water. A group of Chinese scientists have now studied mosquito legs and measured how much force they exerted when they came in contact with water. Mosquito legs have three segments – the femur next to the body, the tibia in the middle, and tarsus forming the end. The femur and tibia are stiff, but the tarsus is flexible. The tarsus is the part that makes contact with the water. The scientists found the key to mosquito’s water-walking was their ability to avoid piercing the water when they landed, walked and took off because of the flexibility of their
tarsus. The flexible tarsi could support more than 20 times the weight of the mosquito.
The Science Shots article ends with the comment: “Understanding the science of mosquito legs could be useful for the development of miniature water-striding robots, researchers say. Presumably, these robot mosquitoes would be less annoying than the real kind”.
Editorial Comment: Adult mosquitoes live on land, but juvenile mosquitoes live in water. This research reminds us how cleverly mosquitoes are designed for their whole life cycle. If the female mosquitoes could not land, walk and take off from water they would
not be able to lay eggs. When the immature mosquitoes develop into adults they have to be able to take off from water first time without training.
Some people would prefer that mosquitoes sink out of sight, but they do have a function in the ecosystem. There are some very small, but very attractive flowers that are pollinated by mosquitoes. This means that mosquitoes are also well designed to fit with the plants’ life cycles as well.
If you are wondering why mosquitoes are well designed to spread disease, the answer is they aren’t. Disease spreading mosquitoes are the result of degeneration of both mosquitoes and the environment. See our report Malaria Free Mosquitoes here.
(Ref. insects, biomechanics, design, hydrodynamics)
Evidence News vol.15, No. 3
11 March 2015
Creation Research Australia