Did they also test with actual humans? A living body might be more attractive to the insects, maybe reducing any advantage from the stripes.
As well for humans, you will have to consider demographical data and other data like gender, height, weight, body fat, in general how healthy the human is etc. which lead to even more questions.
Using just the models can mitigate these concerns
You could control that out to an extent by painting half of each volunteer, and then comparing the number of bites on each side.
Of course you'd want to randomise which side was painted, in case the insects prefer to bite one rather than the other.
You'd be surprised. Naturist love hanging around nude in places where insect bites are a serious possibility.
Not because of the insect bites of course. They just literally come with the territory. But if there was ever a demographic where this research would be very relevant, it's probably naturists.
Definitely would need to be tested in some other way, though. Lots of things that work on lab rats don't work on humans.
At least that's my experience, and of course that's quite annoying behavior when you'd rather have it go outside the house!
But maybe I should try this "bat signal" next time :)
Could anyone describe this in more detail, or link a video? My web- searching has failed ne.
But, what do I know? Motionless plastic figures might be treated exactly the same as well.
Maybe they don't want to get bit by mosquitoes? I'm half joking of course, but when I'm out kayaking, it seems that, in my observation, most insects, including mosquitoes, prefer the shade, so I tend to stay out of it.
I hope to witness more instances where the old imperial, intolerant ways of looking at the cultures we've degraded over the last few centuries get turned upside down. There are so many things we could have learned about the world from the 60,000+ year old culture of the original inhabitants of Australia, which might've pushed us further.
I put this 'stripes as insect repellant' in the same list as 'they had a Hippocratic oath before us', and 'they understood antibiotics and antiseptics while we were still arguing over miasma theory and bloodletting'.
Turns out, their technology was more advanced than our hubris allowed us to admit.
Another example is the "utter idiocy" of Berbers wearing black clothing in the desert heat. (https://www.nature.com/articles/283373a0). Actually it's neutral (a far as temperature goes) but has other advantages including making you harder to see and, of course, social/decorative/signalling value.
This was actually the first scientific paper I deliberately went to find and read after reading about it in some other journal. I was 16. Luckily it was something approachable and so encouraged me to spend more time doing it.
This seems to confirm that light clothes are better than dark ones at protecting against bites. 5x more effective. The stripes add another 2x but wearing mostly black clothes in hot areas has some disadvantages. Maybe I'll stick with my beige cloths.
What are the disadvantages? An advantage is that black clothes are better at radiating your body heat and protecting against sun burn - that's why people often wear black in hot countries.
I've seen many bedhouin men wearing white.
From The function of zebra stripes:
> Despite over a century of interest, the function of zebra stripes has never been examined systematically. Here we match variation in striping of equid species and subspecies to geographic range overlap of environmental variables in multifactor models controlling for phylogeny to simultaneously test the five major explanations for this infamous colouration. For subspecies, there are significant associations between our proxy for tabanid biting fly annoyance and most striping measures (facial and neck stripe number, flank and rump striping, leg stripe intensity and shadow striping), and between belly stripe number and tsetse fly distribution, several of which are replicated at the species level. Conversely, there is no consistent support for camouflage, predator avoidance, heat management or social interaction hypotheses. Susceptibility to ectoparasite attack is discussed in relation to short coat hair, disease transmission and blood loss.