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The Temporal Pattern of Mosquito Flight Activity

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48 Mosquitoes (Culex pipiens fatigans) were isolated in constant darkness and their flight activity monitored with an automatic acoustical recording system. Three basic features were recognized: (I) there was a strong endogenous circadian rhythm with activity in the subjective evening and morning (Fig. 9) ; (2) flights came in bouts with the bouts more closely spaced in the evening activity period (Fig. 10) ; (3) the distributions of flight and interval lengths suggested that the onset and cessation of flight were relatively simple stochastic processes (Figs. 5, 6, 7). A stochastic model, requiring a few simple assumptions, was proposed to accommodate these features. Computer simulation of mosquito activity, based upon the model, generated patterns which looked like the real thing (Fig. 15).

Affiliations: 1: School of Biol. Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, U.K.


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