The South Asian vs. North American Mosquito Study

I know that after reading this blog you’re going to say, “Salyards has had way too much time on his hands while visiting India!”  But seriously, the observations in today’s blog are based on a science experiment.  The species being studied is the Indian mosquito, which is compared to the American mosquito.  The laboratory in India consists of the following:

·    One human ”bite subject” that has had extensive experience being the victim of the North American mosquito.
·    No mosquito repellant (we don’t want to ruin the experiment by introducing extraneous variables that might invalidate the final results).
·    18 billion mosquitoes (this is roughly 17 mosquitoes for each Indian citizen).

This is a five week experiment conducted in the Indian cities of Bombay, Ankleshwar, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Rajkot.

The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the behavior differences between the South Asian (henceforth called “Indian”) mosquito and the North American (henceforth called “American”) mosquito.  The results of the study are below.


                                                     by Professor Donald Salyards

1.    The Indian mosquito is much smaller than the American mosquito.  By carefully measuring the dead carcasses harvested by the “bite subject” it is concluded that the American mosquito is roughly 1.789343987 times larger than the Indian mosquito.  This gives the Indian mosquito a distinct advantage over the American mosquito, as it is much more difficult to see.  In reality the Indian mosquito is difficult to see unless it flies into a white- colored background (like white tile in a shower, or white skin on a Caucasian).

2.    The Indian mosquito’s flight patterns are much more difficult to predict than the flight patterns of the American mosquito.  When the “bite subject” is in the United States and spots an American mosquito, it is invariably heading toward the “bite subject” in a direct, straight line.  The American mosquito is aggressive and deliberate…heading straight toward its victim.  Thus, if the victim sees him coming, it means almost certain death for the mosquito.  On the other hand, the Indian mosquito wafts around the room lazily…flying past the “bite subject” many times in a manner that makes the “bite subject” think that this is a non-violent (Ghandi-ish) kind of species.  Only later does the “bite subject” realize that somewhere in between his meditation and yoga sessions, the Indian mosquito has taken care of business.  The realization consists of large pink lumps on the skin of the victim.

Six bites on the arm of the author when he made the mistake of sticking his arm out from under the blanket one evening.

Six bites on the arm of the author when he made the mistake of sticking his arm out from under the blanket one evening.

3.    The American method of killing mosquitoes must be modified when attacking the Indian mosquito.  Because Indian mosquitoes are so small and light, they are whiffed away with even the smallest air current.  In fact, ceiling fans are a very effective way to keep mosquitoes from biting people in India.  Thus, the rapid hand smack that will kill the American mosquito will simply create an air-foil which pushes the Indian mosquito up, out of harm’s way.  Only after a few failed attempts will the over aggressive Ameican “bite subject” come to realize that a soft, slower clap is needed to kill the Indian mosquito.  It is then that the American realizes that compared to the United States, killing mosquitoes is more mystical and transcendental in India.   As one would naturally expect, the karma is just different where Indian mosquitoes are concerned.

4.    Mosquitos only bite Americans and do not bite Indians.  When interviewed, Indians regularly testify that they are completely immune to the mosquito.  In fact, they insist that the Indian mosquitoes only feast on Caucasian flesh.

In the opinion of the author, this “Caucasian flesh” hypothesis should be the subject of further research.   In fact, the particular Caucasian “bite subject” of this study has invited some of his Indian friends to take a trip to the boundary waters canoe area in July of 2014 to test the hypothesis that Indians are immune to mosquito bites.  Only then can there be a conclusive result.  At this point all of the Indians invited to the boundary waters have indicated that they think they will have a hard time getting a US visa.  The American “bite subject” suspects that this is only a clever excuse to avoid testing this hypothesis.

This completes the comparative study of the Indian vs. American mosquito.  I had anticipated conducting another study while in India, that being a comparative study of Indian vs. American cauliflower.  However, after eating the most flavorful cauliflower that I have had in my entire life during lunch today, I abandoned that Idea due to the fact that the Indian cauliflower is superior to American cauliflower in all ways possible.

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4 Responses to The South Asian vs. North American Mosquito Study

  1. Bhawna Rai says:

    This study is hilarious….and your arm is all red….regarding the Visa….please get me 1 and I am ready to be your ‘subject’ for hypothesis 😛

  2. Kristina Swetz says:

    In the name of science, this experiment was replicated when I was in India. I had upwards of 30 bites on each leg. As Don mentioned, it is easy to see Minnesota’s “state bird” swarming in on you, but these little buggers in India are sneaky!

  3. Donna says:

    Cute, Don. It is so nice to see that being an educator /scientist while being on vacation has set an example to others. You did take those little pills, right? See yah soon. Safe traveling.

  4. Mary Nelson says:

    Further research might involve the diseases that the variety of South Asian vs. North American mosquitos transmit. Any takers for that one?

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