Category Archives: communication

Follow The Trail

Ants use trail pheromones to recruit additional foragers to a food source. When a foraging ant discovers food, she lays a pheromone trail as she returns to the nest with the food. Other foragers can follow her trail to locate the … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, communication | 1 Comment

Discriminating Sounds

Insect hearing organs vary in their ability to discriminate among sounds. Insects that need hearing to do one thing well, such as warning of an approaching bat, can have an auditory system that only responds to sounds made by bats. … Continue reading

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Vive La Différence

If two sounds of different frequencies are played together, they can produce a “difference tone” or a sound that has a frequency that is determined by subtracting the frequency of the lower tone from the higher tone. For example, two adjacent … Continue reading

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The Mechanics of Hearing

Flies such as Drosophila hear with their antennae. The base of the antennae, the Johnston’s organ vibrates in response to vibrations in the air (sound). The vibrations mechanically move hairs that are innervated by sound detectors. How is the vibration … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, communication | 1 Comment

Living With Bat Detectors

Hawkmoths fly at night and are tasty prey for bats. Some hawkmoths have evolved the ability to detect the ultrasonic sounds emitted by bat sonar. The Death Head Hawkmoth and some other moths in the Choerocampina, use a sound detection … Continue reading

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Heard A Mile Away

The Bladder Grasshopper of South Africa, Bullacris membracioides, has a sound detection system that can detect mating calls at great distance. This grasshopper does not have a tympanum like many of the grasshopper species. Instead it has a series of … Continue reading

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Dull Males; Bright, Attractive Females

The false garden mantid, Pseudomantis albofimbriata, (pictured) is a cryptic predator that lives by stealth. The green coloration allows males and females to blend with their surroundings. The color of males and females and the brightness of the male are comparable to … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, Biomaterials, by jjneal, communication | 1 Comment