Why mozzies aren’t drips in the rain

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iol scitech sept 15 mosquito INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS New research explains mosquitoes' apparent selectivity. Picture: Karen Sandison

London - Thought all this rain might at least wash away those summer mosquitoes? Think again. A study by the Georgia Institute of Technology in America has discovered why mosquitoes and other small insects can continue to fly through the air undisturbed — even if it’s bucketing down.

They found a mosquito can be hit by a raindrop weighing 50 times its body weight — the equivalent of a grown man being hit by a falling lorry — and simply fly on. It is all down to the mosquitoes’ remarkably tough frames or exoskeletons and the tiny hairs on their wings and bodies which allow water to run off without the insects losing momentum.

Researchers used small acrylic cages covered with mesh to conduct their experiments. Several mosquitoes were placed into each cage, and a water jet was used to simulate a rain stream. Every mosquito survived unharmed. - Daily Mail

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