The hairs on the antennae of some male mosquitoes are elevated by hydrating protein pads adjacent to each hair socket.

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"At least one case of motion driven by hydration occurs in animals--the mechanism with which the males of at least one genus of mosquitoes erect the hairs on their antennae (Nijhout and Sheffield 1979). Presumably, an antenna with recumbent hairs has less drag than one with erect hairs, but only with erect hairs can a male detect the hum of a female in flight. (Females, being larger, have a lower wingbeat frequency and thus buzz at a lower pitch; a tuning fork humming such a siren song will attract males.) Adjacent to the socket of a hair is an annular pad of homogeneous protein (fig. 22.2); the angle of erection of the hair tracks the angle of unfolding of the pad. During unfolding and erection the pad increases in volume by 25-30 percent while the cells just beneath it decrease in size." (Vogel 2003:444-445)

Book
Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World, Second EditionPrinceton University PressJune 17, 2013
Steven Vogel

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