Female mosquitoes guzzled human blood until their abdomens burst during an experiment conducted earlier this year by a researcher in Melbourne, Australia.
Close-up footage posted by Dr Perran Stott-Ross on March 19 shows the insects as they consumed blood from his arm.
This video accompanied an article about an experiment which tested the hypothesis that blood ingestion in mosquitoes is regulated by “abdominal stretch receptors” that prevent the insects from drinking themselves to death.
Writing in Entomology Today, Stott-Ross said he first immobilized the insects by putting them in the fridge and crushed their receptors using “a forceps.” The next day he let the bugs feed on his arm, which he said is “a common procedure.”
Stott-Ross said the mosquitoes drank far beyond their fair share of blood and were unable to fly or even walk, while some drank so much that they eventually burst. Other mosquitoes continued to feed long after their abdomen ruptured.
Even though he confirmed the hypothesis, Stott-Ross conceded that performing surgery on individual mosquitos was not an effective way to “control mosquito populations or reduce the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases.”
Stott-Ross is a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne. His research is concerned with investigating ways to control insect pest and disease vectors. Credit: Perran Stott-Ross via Storyful