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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #306514

Title: Male motion coordination in swarming Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii

item SHISHIKA, DAIGO - University Of Maryland
item Manoukis, Nicholas
item BUTAIL, SACHIT - New York University
item PALEY, DEREK - University Of Maryland

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/18/2014
Publication Date: 9/12/2014
Citation: Shishika, D., Manoukis, N., Butail, S., Paley, D. 2014. Male motion coordination in swarming Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii. Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/srep.06318.

Interpretive Summary: Mating in the major African anopheline malaria vectors remains poorly understood. Here we use stereoscopic (3D) video images to localize and track individual males in mating swarms of important malaria vectors in Mali and analyze these to detect if there is any evidence of coordination in the flight of males. We find coordination of pairs and small groups of males within the swarm. This observation enabled improvement of a previously published model of mosquito swarms.

Technical Abstract: The Anopheles gambiae species complex comprises the primary vectors of malaria in much of sub-Saharan Africa; most of the mating in these species occurs in swarms composed almost entirely of males. Intermittent, parallel flight patterns in such swarms have been observed, but a detailed description of male-male interactions has not previously been available. We identify frequent, time-varying interactions characterized by periods of parallel flight in data from 8 swarms of Anopheles gambiae and 3 of Anopheles coluzzi filmed in 2010 and 2011 in the village of Doneguebogou, Mali. We use correlation of flight direction to quantify these interactions and to induce interaction graphs, which show that males form synchronized subgroups whose size and membership change rapidly. A swarming model with damped springs between each male and the swarm centroid shows good agreement with the correlation data, provided that local interactions represented by damping of relative velocity are included.