Bulletin of Entomological Research

Original Articles

Studies on the swarming Habits of Mosquitos and other Nematocera

Erik Tetens Nielsen and Hans Greve

The principal object of this work was to elucidate the swarming behaviour of Aëdes cantans and other mosquitos, Chaoborus crystallinus and certain Chironomids. In addition, ancillary studies were made of the general ecology of these species. The swarms were found to consist entirely of males and to bear no direct relationship to mating or to the search for food. There was no noticeable difference between the swarming habits of the different species of mosquitos and even the differences between the Culicids and Chironomids were very slight. Swarming was observed to take place at about sunset in the evening and sunrise in the morning. The evening swarms appeared to be formed in response to decreasing light intensity and to disperse at a light intensity of about 7 Lux. Low temperatures may delay the start of swarming. The morning swarms started at about the same threshold of light intensity and at this time also their duration was reduced by low temperatures. Below about 50°F. they were not formed at all. Atmospheric humidity appeared to be of minor importance.