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Published on Jan 21, 2009
From the paper Lauren J. Cator, Ben J. Arthur, Laura C. Harrington, Ronald R. Hoy, "Harmonic Convergence in the Love Songs of the Dengue Vector Mosquito," Science 8 January 2009 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.116...
A high-speed video of mating flight in A. aegypti: a male pursuing a female in free flight. The audio track is from another mating sequence recorded from tethered A. aegypti. For technical reasons it was not possible to record flight tones in the free flight situation depicted in the video. The video was recorded at 8000 frames per second (Phantom v7.3, Vision Research Inc.). When a free-flying mosquito flew into focus through a defined volume of target space, it triggered the camera to record. The trigger event was determined by the fly entering the intersection of two orthogonal laser beams, defining the point of focus. The flies were back-lit with collimated light from a red LED. The video shown here was played back at 60 frames per second, resulting in a 133-fold slow-motion effect. The dubbed audio track was recorded from a tethered male and female using a particle-velocity microphone played back in real time. To make the video clip shown here, a dozen males and females were released into a 20 cm optically-transparent enclosure where they could fly freely for several hours. Once individuals flew through the point of focus they were recorded automatically to a computer.