Acoustic communication in insect disease vectors

Felipe de Mello Vigoder*, Michael Gordon Ritchie, Gabriella Gibson, Alexandre Afranio Peixoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Acoustic signalling has been extensively studied in insect species, which has led to a better understanding of sexual communication, sexual selection and modes of speciation. The significance of acoustic signals for a blood-sucking insect was first reported in the XIX century by Christopher Johnston, studying the hearing organs of mosquitoes, but has received relatively little attention in other disease vectors until recently. Acoustic signals are often associated with mating behaviour and sexual selection and changes in signalling can lead to rapid evolutionary divergence and may ultimately contribute to the process of speciation. Songs can also have implications for the success of novel methods of disease control such as determining the mating competitiveness of modified insects used for mass-release control programs. Species-specific sound "signatures" may help identify incipient species within species complexes that may be of epidemiological significance, e. g. of higher vectorial capacity, thereby enabling the application of more focussed control measures to optimise the reduction of pathogen transmission. Although the study of acoustic communication in insect vectors has been relatively limited, this review of research demonstrates their value as models for understanding both the functional and evolutionary significance of acoustic communication in insects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalMemorias do instituto oswaldo cruz
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Sandflies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Triatomines
  • Tsetse
  • Lutzomyia-longipalpis diptera
  • Glossina-morsitans-morsitans
  • Triatoma-infestans hemiptera
  • Anopheles-gambiae
  • Sexual-behavior
  • Aedes-aegypti
  • Sound production
  • Molecular-forms
  • Reproductive isolation
  • Courtship song


Dive into the research topics of 'Acoustic communication in insect disease vectors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this