The Swarming ofAnopheles PunctipennisSay

Frederick Knab
1907 Psyche: A Journal of Entomology  
the writer observed the mating habits of Anopheles punctipennis and .as, up to the present, nothing appears to have been made known regarding the mating habits in the genus Anopheles, the following notes are offered. Much to his surprise the writer found that the males of Anopheles swarm as do those of Culex, although the behavior in the two forms is quite different. The observations were made on Plummers Island (Maryland) in the Potomac River, about ten miles above Washington. Near the highest
more » ... n. Near the highest part of the island is a ledge of rock forming an open space surrounded by the woods on three sides. The side towards the river is open, save for a couple of small trees at the edge, and terminates in a nearly perpendicular cliff. On October 7, shortly before 5 o'clock, the writer visited the spot to enjoy the sun-set. The ledge is about sixty feet above the water and on its highest part, where some tufts of tall grass grow in a crevice of the rock, was a swarm bf dancing Diptera. The swarm was directly over the tufts of grass, its base seven or eight feet from the ground, the apex five or six feet higher. Although in appearance and action quite unlike Culex pipiens (observed on previous occasions) they were recognized as mosquitoes by the prominent palpi and the plumed antennae. With a sweep of the net fifteen were secured and proved to be males of Anopheles punctipennis. Their appearance in flight differed from pipiens mainly by the position of the legs which were held straight behind and close together. The palpi and antennae, directed straight forward, also appeared much more prominent than in pipiens, which, together with the much longer legs, extending out behind, gave them a very characteristic appearance. In their actions, too, they differed markedly from pipiens. The swarm was small, composed of less than a hundred individuals, and was not as compact as the swarms of pipiens. The movements of these males were far more free and varied than those of pipiens which constantly repeat the same circumscribed movements. The Anopheles flew about in the swarm in a circling upward or downward "corkscrew" course. Their movements were more rapid than those of pipiens and often
doi:10.1155/1907/32434 fatcat:gifc4lsus5fyfhsporlr7lyhs4