Auditory changes in noctuid moths endemic to a bat‐free habitat

  title={Auditory changes in noctuid moths endemic to a bat‐free habitat},
  author={James H. Fullard},
  journal={Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  • J. Fullard
  • Published 1 July 1994
  • Biology
  • Journal of Evolutionary Biology
If the ears of moths exist primarily to detect the echolocation calls of hunting bats, endemic moths in bat‐free areas (i.e., species that have evolved in the absence of the selection pressure maintaining ears) should exhibit signs of deafness. Noctuid moths from the Pacific islands of French Polynesia, a site that has never possessed bats, were sampled and electrophysiologically analysed to test this hypothesis. The auditory sensitivities of seven endemic and twelve immigrant species, captured… 
Extinction of the acoustic startle response in moths endemic to a bat‐free habitat
It is concluded that the absence of bats in this habitat has caused the neural circuitry that normally controls the ASR behaviour in bat‐exposed moths to become decoupled from the functionally vestigial ears of endemic Tahitian moths.
Hearing diversity in moths confronting a neotropical bat assemblage
The auditory characteristics of tympanate moths from Cuba, a neotropical island with high levels of bat diversity and a high incidence of echolocation frequencies above those commonly at the upper limit of moths’ hearing sensitivity, are analyzed.
Why Do Diurnal Moths Have Ears?
It is determined that all of the day-flying moths spend 44–73% of their 24-hour cycles active at night when bats hunt, and that in their absence these sensory structures degenerate.
Bats and moths: what is there left to learn?
The interaction between bats and moths has much to interest general biologists, and may provide a useful model in understanding the neurophysiological basis of behaviour, including protean escape behaviours.
Bat-deafness in day-flying moths (Lepidoptera, Notodontidae, Dioptinae)
The phylogeny of the Notodontidae suggests that bat-deaf ears of dioptines represent a state of advanced auditory degeneration brought about by their diurnal life history, and that this deafness is a derived (apomorphic) condition and not a retention of a primitive, insensitive state.
The echolocation calls of the spotted bat Euderma maculatum are relatively inaudible to moths
  • Fullard, Dawson
  • Biology, Medicine
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1997
Previous studies of the spotted bat Euderma maculatum have demonstrated that this bat emits echolocation calls that are lower in frequency, shorter in duration and fainter in intensity compared with
Auditory Sensitivity and Diel Flight Activity In Neotropical Lepidoptera
It is suggested that diurnality in the Dioptinae is an apomorphic trait that has resulted in a loss of auditory sensitivity in some species but that others may retain functional ears depending on their levels of nocturnality and consequent exposure to bats.
Ultrasonic hearing in moths
An overview of moth hearing is presented, focusing on morphology, neurophysiology, and behavioral ecology, to set the stage for the later evolution of ultrasonic courtship signals in the eared moth families.
Diel flight periodicity and the evolution of auditory defences in the Macrolepidoptera
Ultrasound sensitivity not only appears to protect eared moths from aerial predators (bats) but also protects them from terrestrial predators by allowing the moths to remain in the air during the night, and, it is suggested, is responsible for the success of this group of Macrolepidoptera.
Release from bats: genetic distance and sensoribehavioural regression in the Pacific field cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus
It is concluded that the absence of bats has caused partial regression in the nervous control of a defensive behaviour in this insect.


Moth hearing on the Faeroe Islands, an area without bats
The fact that the moths on the Faeroes possess such sensitive ears is explained by the large time spans which might be required for reduction of a character which is not directly opposed by a selection pressure.
Auditory characteristics and sexual dimorphism in the gypsy moth
It is suggested that male L. dispar possess adaptively functional ears tuned to the frequencies in the echo‐location signals of bats but that the flightless females of this species are not exposed to bat predation and therefore possess ears in a state of evolutionary degeneration.
The gleaning attacks of the northern long-eared bat, Myotis septentrionalis, are relatively inaudible to moths.
The prediction that the echolocation calls of gleaners are acoustically inconspicuous to the ears of moths, leaving the moths particularly vulnerable to predation is supported, and the suggestion that gleaners gain a foraging advantage against eared prey is suggested.
Sensory relationships of moths and bats sampled from two Nearctic sites
Measurements taken of echolocating bats at both these sites reveal a greater diversity of acoustic frequencies emitted by British Columbia bats and it is suggested sympatric moths have responded to this increased predation pressure by selectively maximizing their frequency sensitivity pertinent to the bats they are exposed to.
Echolocation assemblages and their effects on moth auditory systems
The auditory characteristics of a variety of tympanate moths from areas representing low and high levels of bat (= echolocation signal) diversity reveal significantly higher sensitivities than those analyzed at an Ontario site (low diversity).
Echolocation and foraging behaviour in the Hawaiian hoary bat, Lasiurus cinereus semotus
These observations suggest that the bats may gather echolocation information from their social signals, and that the tendency to vocalize agonistically increased with increased numbers of bats in the foraging area and increased as the density of insects available to the hunting bats decreased.
Functional organization of two tympanic neurons in noctuid moths.
  • N. Suga
  • Biology, Medicine
    The Japanese journal of physiology
  • 1961
The hysteretic responses seems to show that the tympanic organ of noctuid moths is convenient for detecting pulsatory sounds in a background noise.
  • R. Jones, D. Culver
  • Biology, Medicine
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1989
Morphologie des pedoncules, des antennes et des yeux chez les individus se reproduisant d'une population cavernicole de G. minus etudiee en vue de detecter une selection sexuelle