A light-dark striped skin can protect according to a study, people in front of some insect species. Many indigenous peoples in Africa, Australia and Papua new Guinea are known to paint their bodies with bright stripes and Patterns.

A study of Hungarian and Swedish researchers shows that this traditional painting has the positive side effect of making for certain types of insects unattractive. But this is true only for those that respond to visual stimuli, as the scientists report in the journal “Royal Society Open Science”.

The Team had shown some years earlier that striped horses teats are far less attractive for certain blood as a single-colored animals. This time, the researchers compared to Gábor Horváth from the Hungarian Eötvös Loránd University, how attractive the three life-size, with adhesive coated plastic dolls with different repaints for the horse brakes. The striped people model attracted the fewest brakes. On the dark brown model is about ten times as many were glued to the end of the experiment, on the beige twice as many insects such as the striped.

“You need to have a contrast between light and dark,” says Andreas Krüger, expert for entomology at the Bundeswehr hospital in Hamburg. “Both brakes, as well as tsetse flies respond to visual stimuli and not on smells. You know that Zebras are not to be attacked”, explained the study, the participants in the research. Especially in Central Africa, this species of insects transmitted thus diseases: brakes such as the nematode Loa loa, which appears in his wanderings through the body in the eye, and tsetse flies, sleeping sickness.

people with darker skin color would have to draw it on the protection light strip, people with light skin color, dark stripes, Kruger. Here a painting is likely to benefit. “The human being is not the main aim of the brakes. In addition, in particular, mosquitoes are hardly geared with your eyes, but with the sense of smell”, explains Krüger. Brakes are in our Region more of a veterinary Problem. “So you could make each horse a Zebra by painted it.”

dpa