During Summer and Fall in Indiana, our soundscape is dominated by the songs of insects, primarily males, singing to attract a mate. At a given time, hundreds of different species may be singing at once. How is a male to be heard among all the distracting sounds?
Some insects, such as cicadas, form groups and chorus in unison. The “choir” can produce a louder sound than other insects trying to be heard. It sounds like a shouting match because it is. By singing with as choir, males attract notice from a larger number of females. A male cicada will sing with the choir until he detects the call of a nearby female. Then the male will switch from the chorus song to a courtship song that attracts females from close range.