Biomechanics of mosquito flight

We study the biomechanics and aerodynamics of mosquito flight…

Mosquitoes have a very interesting flight style, because they beat their wings extremely fast. Some mosquitoes have even been found to flap their wings up to 1000 times per second, but why they do this is not yet known. We study the biomechanics and aerodynamics of mosquito flight by filming freely flying mosquitoes using an array of high-speed cameras and by modeling the fluid dynamics of flapping mosquito wings. This will enable us to elucidate the flight apparatus of the most dangerous animal in the world, the malaria mosquito.

Mosquito in flight
High-speed camera setup (Photron SA-X2)

Our collaborators are: Prof. Robert Dudley and Sofia Chang at UC Berkeley, USA; Prof. Michael Dickinson (Caltech, Pasadena, USA); and Prof. Johan van Leeuwen, Prof. Willem Takken at Wageningen UR. Financially supported by a Veni grant from ALW/NWO.

NWO The Netherlands
ALW The Netherlands