fluorescent green gonads

Some people have made a career out of studying mosquitos. Michael D’Antonio and Andrew Spielman did just that, and uncovered some interesting things along the way…..

“Mosquito sex is almost as remarkable as its human equivalent and probably more varied and dangerous. The male house mosquito often leaves his equipment behind after coupling. You have mosquito rapists. You have the satyristic tiger mosquitoes who are sort of like a conquering army who rape the women of the land they’ve subdued.

men are unusual

Scientists have long been experimenting with cross-breeding incompatible strains of mozzies (such as French and German or Californian and Burmese) which results in females laying infertile eggs.

infection control

Research published online in Nature Biotechnology, shows how a team from Imperial College London have altered male mosquitoes to express a green fluorescent protein in their gonads. Coupled with a high speed sorting technique, scientists will be able to identify the different mosquito sexes much more easily than by manually sorting.

mosquito with glowing gonads

Mosquitos, on emergence from the pupa are not instantly ready to have sex. The males have a rear end that must first rotate 180 degrees. They are born with the genital apparatus oriented the ancestral way and need 48 hours to twist it half a full circle. By the time the rear has undegone its twist, the bristles on its shaft have become erect. The mechanism of bristle erection involves the controlled application of hydrostatic pressure at the base.

(I can’t bring myself to post an image of a twisted human penis on the front page but if you  click this link you can see one here)

mosquito national geographic

image found here

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 8:16 am  Comments (31)  

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31 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I just had to click on that link, so much like a dare. Think I better come with you and daisyfae next time you go on a jaunt.

    • What a fantastic idea!

  2. So how do they keep the little buggers still to mess with their gonads? They must have delicate surgery fingers I am thinking?

  3. Let’s twist again like we did last summer – when all the mossies made us as itchy as this article!

    ‘Itchy’ was the nickname for which evil character on ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’?

    (Shredder; called so by his mother when she made an unexpected cameo one episode.)

  4. “rear end that must first rotate 180 degrees”

    two words: dream date

    never mind the fact that he’s a blood sucking parasite… i can swat his sorry ass as soon as i’m done with him and he won’t stick around to fart under my covers and raid my fridge…

    • Raid your fridge for what daisyfae?


  5. Ah yes, the old 180 upside down ass maneuver. I could pull that one off when I was in my twenties but sadly I lacked the experience and patience to fully employ the technique. Now that I comprehend, fear of sciatica prevents the move. Evolutionarily procreationally speaking, I should be dead by now.

    Ulysses Less

  6. I have green fluorescent protein in my gonads but my doctor said the shot he gave me should clear it up. He also told me to cut back on my trips to the Philippines.

  7. Have you ever felt a pair of fluorescent green gonads?

    • thanks for the link AC. Now I know St Christopher invented the felt sock

  8. “The male house mosquito often leaves his equipment behind after coupling.” – how very inconvenient ……

  9. I used to have bristles on my shaft, but they’ve been worn off, mostly because of corset Fridays.

    • Happy birthday Uncle Keith

  10. Mosquito rape? How can they tell that the females don’t want it?

  11. no wonder that bloke in the link can’t get an erection …eeeeeew!!

  12. What is best in life, Tiger Mosquito?

    Crush your mosquito enemies! See them driven before you! And hear the lamentation of the mosquito women!

  13. the link sort of reminds me of a “slinky”.

    • So far it’s only been my female readers who’ve owned up to clicking the link 🙂

      • I clicked it. What has been seen cannot be unseen.

  14. I’m damned if I’ll click that link. Or lick that clink. Well… it depends whose clink I suppose.

    • Yeah come on inky. You know you want to

  15. This time, I heeded your warning and did NOT click on the link. It had always been a terrible mistake in the past. Live and learn.

    • What? Didn’t you like the wax models of late stage syphillis?

    • What? Didn’t you even like the wax models of late stage syphillis?

      • Those wax models were my proudest moment 😉

  16. Once again you seem to know just what I’d like to ‘rip off’.

    The King

  17. I love how you sometimes have standards as to not posting a picture.

    • Yeah, that’s me – the “Standards Queen”

  18. Where is all the buzzing coming from . . either you have attracted every mosquito to this blog in a 5 mile radius, or the Mi-Go are coming.

  19. the male house mosquito leaves his glowy gonad “equipment” behind after sex?
    heh, i’m going to go through my house tonight with a black light and a dust buster. Thank you nurse myra for the housekeeping tip.

  20. I appreciate the fact you didn’t post that pic!
    It would be pretty cool if scientists could invent a pill to give human men florescent green gonads. At least for raves or something!

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