Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2013;3:2003. doi: 10.1038/srep02003.

Evolution of deceptive and true courtship songs in moths.

Author information

Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.


Ultrasonic mating signals in moths are argued to have evolved via exploitation of the receivers' sensory bias towards bat echolocation calls. We have demonstrated that female moths of the Asian corn borer are unable to distinguish between the male courtship song and bat calls. Females react to both the male song and bat calls by "freezing", which males take advantage of in mating (deceptive courtship song). In contrast, females of the Japanese lichen moth are able to distinguish between the male song and bat calls by the structure of the sounds; females emit warning clicks against bats, but accept males (true courtship song). Here, we propose a hypothesis that deceptive and true signals evolved independently from slightly different precursory sounds; deceptive/true courtship songs in moths evolved from the sounds males incidentally emitted in a sexual context, which females could not/could distinguish, respectively, from bat calls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center