[extropy-chat] evolution and bee tracheas

Anders Sandberg asa at nada.kth.se
Mon Jun 5 10:31:56 UTC 2006

spike wrote:
> http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/PDFs/Tracheal.pdf

Amazing and nasty little critters.

> The real tragedy is that there are no bugs that get inside mosquitoes and
> devour those wretched beasts from the inside.  I propose we design a bug
> or
> nanobot that devours only mosquito proboscises.  The result would be
> billions of mosquitoes buzzing harmlessly about with big stupid
> proboscisless looks on their faces.

Apparently the mosquitos do have enemies.
http://pested.unl.edu/catmans/public/chapter3.pdf mentions Mermithid
nematodes as killing up to 80% of all mosquito larvae. But it is hard to
mass-produce, since it has to be grown in larvae.

The microbe Amblyospora californica is even cooler.
mentions that it infects mosquito larvae, kills *male* larvae and places
spores in the corpse.  Then the corpse gets eaten by a crustacean, and the
microbe takes over its ovaries if it is female to produce more spores.
Makes a nice Species to go with the Alien of the Mermithids.

Seems we already have something to go on to create the embarrassing and
efficient mosquitovore.

But I would also like to promote the idea of injectable mosquito poisons.
Imagine filling up people with some insecticide that killed or (better)
sterilizied mosquitos. It is not just a revenge, but an evolutionary
pressure on the species to focus on other mammals. Mosquitos are fine as
long as they only harass the elks.

Anders Sandberg,
Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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