Media ReleaseFrom: The Royal Society
Up and away: ontogenic transference as a pathway for aerial dispersal of microplastics
Microplastics (MPs) are pollutants found in rivers, lakes and the sea, where they are eaten directly by animals and secondarily by predators. Here, using Culex mosquitoes, we show for the first time that MPs can be eaten by mosquito larvae which transfer them into a non-feeding (pupa) life stage and subsequently into the flying adult. The transfer of MPs to the adults represents a potential aerial pathway to contamination of new environments. Thus, birds, bats and dragonflies etc that feed on the flying life stages of freshwater insects such as mosquitoes can be contaminated by MPs from aquatic ecosystems.