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J Exp Biol. 2001 Feb;204(Pt 4):733-40.

Ultrasound avoidance behaviour in the bushcricket Tettigonia viridissima (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae).

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  • 1Institut für Zoologie II, Friedrich-Alexander Universität, Staudtstrasse 5, Germany.

Abstract

The responses of female Tettigonia viridissima to simulated bat echolocation calls were examined during tethered flight. The insects responded with three distinct behaviours, which occurred at graded stimulus intensities. At low intensities (threshold 54 dB SPL), T. viridissima responded by steering away from the sound source (negative phonotaxis). At intensities approximately 10 dB higher, beating of the hindwing was interrupted, although the insect remained in the flight posture. A diving response (cessation of the wingbeat, closure of the forewings and alignment of the legs against the body) occurred with a threshold of 76 dB SPL. Considering these thresholds, we estimate that the diving response occurs at approximately the sound amplitude at which many aerial-hawking bats first receive echoes from the insect. The other behaviours probably occur before the bat detects the insect and should therefore be interpreted as early avoidance behaviours. The repertoire of startle responses in T. viridissima, with directional and non-directional components, is similar to those of crickets and moths, but quite different from those described for another bushcricket (Neoconocephalus ensiger), which shows only a non-directional response. This supports the conclusion that bat-evasive behaviours are not conserved within the Tettigoniidae, but instead are shaped by the ecological constraints of the insects.

PMID:
11171355
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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