The Citizen-based mosquito monitoring system is a Citizen-Science vector tracking project that involves using any of a wide variety of cell phones to capture "sound bites" (sorry!) of mosquitos. These are collected and analyzed in order to gain some insight into the distribution of different species of mosquitos at different times and locations. Attention is paid to ensure the system works with older model phones that are distributed more widely.

While a positive identification of a single insect form a single recording is not likely this way, over time a statistical analysis is expected to give meaningful information. I believe the idea is that similar sounding species are expected to not be in similar places at similar times so often that it muddles the identification too much. This is citizen-science; imperfection is not a deal-breaker.

I was happy to see that there is a BioRvix paper. In fact, I was surprised to see there is such at thing as BioRvix in the first place!

The principle is illustrated in Figure 5, and some of the argument behind species differentiation is illustrated in Figure 7, and screenshots of both are shown below.

I think there is a lot of information densely packed within the figures, and I'd like to understand more of it. In the second figure below, which is Figure 7 in the paper, what does the color scale and color coding represent?

There seems to be some suggestion of time of day as well, but I don't understand exactly how. What about time of year - that should also play a major role.

Some may recognize Manu Prakash as "Foldscope guy".

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for asking about the interesting study. However, you need to clarify your question a little bit. What exactly are you asking? (please update your question with a bolded well-framed, specific question). Right now I htink it's a little too broad. Also, if you could perhaps modify your post a bit so one doesn't need to go to the paper to answer your question (useful for if the link dies later on). This would include better referencing/labeling your photos and perhaps quoting the chunk of statistical text that is most confusing to you). Thanks $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist Thanks for your recommendation, and I see what you mean. I will try to dig in and identify what it is that's making it so difficult to understand, and rewrite. This could take as long as 24 hours - should I delete in the mean time, or leave it as is for that long? I'm happy either way. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks @uhoh. You can just leave this post up and update it as soon as you can. Most likely others will see these comments and will wait for you to edit before answering further. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist I've decided to split off the statistics as a separate question - I need more time to read. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


In the second figure – What does the color scale and color coding represent?

Each color is an individual mosquito species, arranged the same from top to bottom on all plots. Here, on the left, all species are gathered on one plot, with the y-axis now labeled “Species.”

The sounds of many mosquitoes apparently have statistical profiles similar to each other, so the individual plots demonstrate how additional factors help distinguish species in some such cases.

In the plot for “Time” (C), the sun and moon merely accompany the species whose differing circadian habits they illustrate. It is only a coincidence that the daytime species is plotted higher.

Just to complete the picture, here is how these plots mark statistical profiles.

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    $\begingroup$ This is a really helpful answer! I'm going to split off the question about the statistical arguments as a separate, new question (it needs considerable effort on my part to define it more narrowly), and edit this question to limit it to the information in the plots. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 22:43

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