Moths produce extremely quiet ultrasonic courtship songs by rubbing specialized scales

Ryo Nakano, Niels Skals, Takuma Takanashi, Annemarie Surlykke, Takuji Koike, Keisuke Yoshida, Hirotaka Maruyama, Sadahiro Tatsuki, Yukio Ishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Insects have evolved a marked diversity of mechanisms to produce loud conspicuous sounds for efficient communication. However, the risk of eavesdropping by competitors and predators is high. Here, we describe a mechanism for producing extremely low-intensity ultrasonic songs (46 dB sound pressure level at 1 cm) adapted for private sexual communication in the Asian corn borer moth, Ostrinia furnacalis. During courtship, the male rubs specialized scales on the wing against those on the thorax to produce the songs, with the wing membrane underlying the scales possibly acting as a sound resonator. The male's song suppresses the escape behavior of the female, thereby increasing his mating success. Our discovery of extremely low-intensity ultrasonic communication may point to a whole undiscovered world of private communication, using "quiet" ultrasound.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America
Volume105
Issue number33
Pages (from-to)11812-11817
Number of pages5
ISSN0027-8424
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19. Aug 2008

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Courtship
Music
Ultrasonics
Communication
Zea mays
Membranes

Keywords

  • Animal Communication
  • Animals
  • Courtship
  • Female
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Moths
  • Movement
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Ultrasonics
  • Wing

Cite this

Nakano, Ryo ; Skals, Niels ; Takanashi, Takuma ; Surlykke, Annemarie ; Koike, Takuji ; Yoshida, Keisuke ; Maruyama, Hirotaka ; Tatsuki, Sadahiro ; Ishikawa, Yukio. / Moths produce extremely quiet ultrasonic courtship songs by rubbing specialized scales. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America. 2008 ; Vol. 105, No. 33. pp. 11812-11817.
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author = "Ryo Nakano and Niels Skals and Takuma Takanashi and Annemarie Surlykke and Takuji Koike and Keisuke Yoshida and Hirotaka Maruyama and Sadahiro Tatsuki and Yukio Ishikawa",
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Nakano, R, Skals, N, Takanashi, T, Surlykke, A, Koike, T, Yoshida, K, Maruyama, H, Tatsuki, S & Ishikawa, Y 2008, 'Moths produce extremely quiet ultrasonic courtship songs by rubbing specialized scales', Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, vol. 105, no. 33, pp. 11812-11817. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0804056105

Moths produce extremely quiet ultrasonic courtship songs by rubbing specialized scales. / Nakano, Ryo; Skals, Niels; Takanashi, Takuma; Surlykke, Annemarie; Koike, Takuji; Yoshida, Keisuke; Maruyama, Hirotaka; Tatsuki, Sadahiro; Ishikawa, Yukio.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, Vol. 105, No. 33, 19.08.2008, p. 11812-11817.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Moths produce extremely quiet ultrasonic courtship songs by rubbing specialized scales

AU - Nakano, Ryo

AU - Skals, Niels

AU - Takanashi, Takuma

AU - Surlykke, Annemarie

AU - Koike, Takuji

AU - Yoshida, Keisuke

AU - Maruyama, Hirotaka

AU - Tatsuki, Sadahiro

AU - Ishikawa, Yukio

PY - 2008/8/19

Y1 - 2008/8/19

N2 - Insects have evolved a marked diversity of mechanisms to produce loud conspicuous sounds for efficient communication. However, the risk of eavesdropping by competitors and predators is high. Here, we describe a mechanism for producing extremely low-intensity ultrasonic songs (46 dB sound pressure level at 1 cm) adapted for private sexual communication in the Asian corn borer moth, Ostrinia furnacalis. During courtship, the male rubs specialized scales on the wing against those on the thorax to produce the songs, with the wing membrane underlying the scales possibly acting as a sound resonator. The male's song suppresses the escape behavior of the female, thereby increasing his mating success. Our discovery of extremely low-intensity ultrasonic communication may point to a whole undiscovered world of private communication, using "quiet" ultrasound.

AB - Insects have evolved a marked diversity of mechanisms to produce loud conspicuous sounds for efficient communication. However, the risk of eavesdropping by competitors and predators is high. Here, we describe a mechanism for producing extremely low-intensity ultrasonic songs (46 dB sound pressure level at 1 cm) adapted for private sexual communication in the Asian corn borer moth, Ostrinia furnacalis. During courtship, the male rubs specialized scales on the wing against those on the thorax to produce the songs, with the wing membrane underlying the scales possibly acting as a sound resonator. The male's song suppresses the escape behavior of the female, thereby increasing his mating success. Our discovery of extremely low-intensity ultrasonic communication may point to a whole undiscovered world of private communication, using "quiet" ultrasound.

KW - Animal Communication

KW - Animals

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KW - Female

KW - Male

KW - Microscopy, Electron, Scanning

KW - Moths

KW - Movement

KW - Sex Characteristics

KW - Ultrasonics

KW - Wing

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