Why do these mosquitoes keep perching on the nostrils of frogs who want to eat them?

By Sheena Goodyear
CBC News
December 13, 2023
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

John Gould had been snapping pictures of mosquitoes on frogs for years before he noticed a trend — the bloodsuckers always seem to land right on the amphibians’ noses. “You would think that a frog would be the worst place to land, because frogs love to eat mosquitoes,” said Gould, a behavioural biologist at Australia’s University of Newcastle. Gould has concluded it’s a “highly specialized feeding strategy” by the mosquitoes. The observations could help scientists better understand how a deadly disease spread among frogs, which is key for their conservation. Although the frogs are different, the mosquitoes are all from the same species, Mimomyia elegans. Native to Australia, they feed off many different kinds of animals, including mammals and birds. “Which makes the observation a bit more interesting,” Gould said, “because, for such a generalist feeder, it seems to have such a specialized behaviour when choosing amphibians as a blood host.”

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