Are there any reliable indicators?


closed as off-topic by March Ho, AliceD, rg255, Ilan, Chris Jul 11 '15 at 20:46

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  • $\begingroup$ male and female mosquitoes are morphologically different. You seem to have shown no effort at all. Have you even checked the wikipedia page on mosquitoes? -1 $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Jul 11 '15 at 8:57
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because OP has shown no research effort $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jul 11 '15 at 12:13

Males and females mosquitoes are morphologically quite different.

The majority of individuals you see are females. The males are not attracted to humans and so we see them less often.

The main obvious difference is the size of the antenna. When you see the large feather-like antennas of a male, you'll have no doubt; it is a male. The male also tend to be smaller than the female but given the inter-species variation in size I wouldn't use this criterion to tell the gender especially the antenna criterion is so obvious.

enter image description here

You can find many more pictures if you just google mosquito male female.

Why do males have these large antennas?

The male's large antennas are for sensing the females. There is a very important sexual selection among male mosquitos for accessing a mate. Female beat their wing at another frequency than males and they therefore produce different sounds when flying. So males compete on their ability to hear and recognize female. Females are attracted to CO2 and warm bodies but males are incredibly attracted to the sound of the female. During my Bachelor degree I once played a 440Hz harmonic to male Anopheles gambiae. It is surprising how quickly they respond to this sound and fly toward the speaker.


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