Mosquitoes Are Not Colorblind, An International Study Reveals
Date : February 4 , 2022
A team of scientists from Washington, California and Germany have released a report in the scientific journal Nature Communications, which reveals a lot about the preferences of mosquitoes. The study, published in the middle of Winter in the Northern hemisphere- giving people plenty of time to prepare for what many call "Mosquito Season."
Besides using visual cues for locating food and mates, the olfactory ability to detect CO2 emissions from exhaled breath helps a female mosquito to hone in on their targets- animals and humans. Red, orange and black are colors to avoid wearing, according to the scientific team. Green is one of the best colors to wear to help keep the bloodsucking pests away.
From the abstract:
"We use a real-time 3D tracking system and wind tunnel that allows careful control of the olfactory and visual environment to quantify the behavior of more than 1.3 million mosquito trajectories. We find that CO2 induces a strong attraction to specific spectral bands, including those that humans perceive as cyan, orange, and red. Sensitivity to orange and red correlates with mosquitoes’ strong attraction to the color spectrum of human skin, which is dominated by these wavelengths. The attraction is eliminated by filtering the orange and red bands from the skin color spectrum and by introducing mutations targeting specific long-wavelength opsins or CO2 detection. "