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Mosquito Blood Buffet

(for mosquito domestication)
  [vote for,

In order to domesticate mosquitos follow these steps:

Place blood buffets into known mosquito breeding grounds. The more the better. Blood buffet is a special contraption that attracts, nourishes and protects mosquitos from predators. Here is the catch. Generation 1 blood buffet will be identical to human skin (in terms of penetration difficulty and nutrients). I know - this will suck (literally) ... However, generation 2 - 10,000 will increasingly diverge until the blood buffet is very different from human skin. In fact it will be so different that a generation 10,000 mosquito will be unable to penetrate human skin, nor will it be able to get nourishment from the nutrients found in the human blood. It will rely on the blood buffet for survival.

It will be sort of a social contract between species. Humans feed mosquitos as long as mosquitos don't feed on humans.

But what if some "wild" mosquitos survive? We can always release some domesticated mosquitos in the area to outcompete them out of existence.

I admit there may be big holes in the implementation, but I believe the core idea is solid. Think about it this way. The more we fight, the more mosquitos evolve ... they get quieter, quicker, less painful (while sucking to avoid detection) .. and they are winning. In fact the better you are at swatting them, the more nasty they become. Say you swat 99 of them ... if the 100th gets you she'll spawn thousands of super offspring... it won't be nice. We will never exterminate them, and if we somehow do, we take out an important food source from the eco-system. Domestication is the next best bet.
ixnaum, Aug 16 2011


       Interesting idea.   

       I suspect, though, that you'd just drive speciation, leading to two species of mosquito (buffet and the maneating species).   

       Your idea of outcompeting the wild-type mosquitos...what are they competing for? If food, then they won't compete.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 16 2011

       I don't think they compete for food. It's hard to imagine enough wild mosquitos to drink so much blood from a human as to "run out"
I believe the competition is more along the lines of mating. Let's say there are 100,000 domesticated mosquito females (fed and ready to reproduce) and 100,000 males. On the same day there are 100,000 wild males and 100 wild females that are ready to reproduce (not as any because to reproduce a female needs to have had a blood meal).
Two things will happen. Some of the domestic males will mate with wild females (effectivelly neutralizing them). And overall the population of the domestic mosquitos will baloon relative to the wild population making this effect even more pronounced in the next generation.

I don't think speciation will be a problem because you need non-breeding groups for speciation to occur. As long at the wild ones and domestic ones can breed, the domestic genes will win.
ixnaum, Aug 16 2011

       Well reasoned.   

       However, at the risk of sounding like Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park, "life will find a way". What I mean is, there's a good living to be made by eating human blood, and something will find a way to fill the niche.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 16 2011

       They're called attourneys, and they've already found a suitable evolutionary niche.   

       In a very nice, and very expensive, office on the 23rd floor of an extremely prestigious city-centre business development.
8th of 7, Aug 16 2011

       combine the two? mosquitos evolved to feed on attorneys? ...

[MB] ... yes life will find a way. But it will take time (lots of time) Humans can accelerate the process and beat evolution. Life will find a way but it's a way of the least resistance.
If humans actually succeed domesticating mosquitos and some wise ass decides to pull the plug on the buffet funding (probably at a time when kids grow up not even knowing what a mosquito is) ... I'm sure the mosquitos will re-evolve their blood sucking capability in the face of imminent extinction. But if the blood buffets are well stocked, mosquitos would be evolutionary stupid to waste their time risking sucking on a human.
ixnaum, Aug 16 2011

       Before you go with the domestication route, why not come up here to Maine and try some of our free-range mosquitos? They are plentiful and well-fed, and they won't cost you a cent. Take as many as you like!
Alterother, Aug 17 2011


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