African Anopheles mosquitoes find us by our carbon dioxide–rich exhalation. But when they get close they turn away from our heads and dive for our feet—apparently their preferred snack spot.
Previous research identified odors produced by 10 bacteria that live on human feet and that, in combination, are attractive to mosquitoes at close range. Suer's work shows that nine out of 10 of these odors are picked up by olfactory neurons under hairlike structures on the mosquitoes' mouthparts. Right nearby are some other key neurons—that recognize our CO2 from further away.
Written By: Cynthia Grabercontinue to source article at scientificamerican.com