Sound strategy: acoustic aposematism in the bat–tiger moth arms race

  title={Sound strategy: acoustic aposematism in the bat–tiger moth arms race},
  author={Nickolay I. Hristov and William E. Conner},
The night sky is the venue for an ancient arms race. Insectivorous bats with their ultrasonic sonar exert an enormous selective pressure on nocturnal insects. In response insects have evolved the ability to hear bat cries, to evade their hunting maneuvers, and some, the tiger moths (Arctiidae), to utter an ultrasonic reply. We here determine what it is that tiger moths “say” to bats. We chose four species of arctiid moths, Cycnia tenera, Euchaetes egle, Utetheisa ornatrix, and Apantesis nais… 
Anti-bat tiger moth sounds: Form and function
A principal components analysis of the anti-bat tiger moth sounds reveals that they vary markedly along three axes: frequency, duty cycle and frequency modulation, and modulation cycle (clicks produced during flexion and relaxation of the sound producing tymbal).
Sound strategies: the 65-million-year-old battle between bats and insects.
In an exciting new twist, researchers are taking the technologies developed in the laboratory back into the field, where they are poised to appreciate the full richness of this remarkable predator-prey interaction.
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Naïve bats discriminate arctiid moth warning sounds but generalize their aposematic meaning
These kinematic and bioacoustic results show that although naïve bats generalize the meaning of aposematic tiger moth calls, they discriminate the prey-generated signals as different and investigate, suggesting that acoustic predators probably exert potent and fine-scaled selective forces on acoustic mimicry complexes.
Convergent evolution of anti-bat sounds
A previously unknown sound-producing organ in Geometrid moths is described—a prothoracic tymbal in the orange beggar moth (Eubaphe unicolor) that generates bursts of ultrasonic clicks in response to tactile stimulation and playback of a bat echolocation attack sequence.
How do tiger moths jam bat sonar?
Three-dimensional simulations of the three-dimensional flight paths and echolocation behavior of big brown bats attacking B. trigona show that bats did not avoid phantom targets, and the bats' ability to track clicking prey contradicts the predictions of the masking hypothesis.
Tiger Moth Jams Bat Sonar
Using ultrasonic recording and high-speed infrared videography of bat-moth interactions, it is shown that the palatable tiger moth Bertholdia trigona defends against attacking big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) using ultrasonic clicks that jam bat sonar.
Acoustic Aposematism and Evasive Action in Select Chemically Defended Arctiine (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) Species: Nonchalant or Not?
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Acoustic mimicry in a predator–prey interaction
Visualizing bat–moth interactions with high-speed, infrared videography, empirical evidence for acoustic mimicry in the ultrasonic warning sounds that tiger moths produce in response to echolocating bats is provided.
Convergent Evolution of Wingbeat-Powered Anti-Bat Ultrasound in the Microlepidoptera
It is demonstrated that wingbeat-powered ultrasound production, likely providing an anti-bat function, appears to indeed be spread widely in the microlepidoptera; showing that acoustically active structures (aeroelastic tymbals, ATs) have evolved in at least three, and likely four different regions of the wing.


Jamming bat echolocation: the dogbane tiger moth Cycnia tenera times its clicks to the terminal attack calls of the big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus.
The results demonstrate that, at normal echolocation intensities, C. tenera does not respond to approach calls but waits until the terminal phase of the attack before emitting its clicks, and support the hypothesis of a jamming effect.
Interactions between bats and arctiid moths
Free-flying arctiid moths changed their flight paths less in response to trains of ultrasonic pulses than did moths of other families similarly capable of hearing these signals.
How Some Insects Detect and Avoid Being Eaten by Bats: Tactics and Countertactics of Prey and Predator
The aim with this review is to present the complex interactions between echolocating bats and insects with bat-detecting ears and show how these interactions may be advantageous for predator or prey.
Arctiid moth clicks can degrade the accuracy of range difference discrimination in echolocating big brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus
  • L. Miller
  • Biology
    Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 2004
Four big brown bats born and raised in captivity were trained using the Yes/No psychophysical method to report whether a virtual sonar target was at a standard distance or not, and clicks presented for the very first time could startle naive bats to different degrees depending on the individual.
Acoustic and behavioural analyses of the sounds produced by some species of Nearctic Arctiidae (Lepidoptera)
The acoustic parameters of the arctiids surveyed revealed extremely high levels of variability in the sounds and these were predominantly ultrasonic and relatively faint compared with other insect sounds.
Echolocation behaviour of vespertilionid bats (Lasiurus cinereus and Lasiurus borealis) attacking airborne targets including arctiid moths
There was, however, no threshold value unambiguously separating successful from unsuccessful attacks in either species and the responses of bats to tossed pebbles and to some insects indicated that during some feeding buzzes L. borealis and L. cinereus judged the nature and range of prey being attacked.
Arctiid moths and bat echolocation: broad-band clicks interfere with neural responses to auditory stimuli in the nuclei of the lateral lemniscus of the big brown bat
Recorded responses of single units in the nuclei of the lateral lemniscus to combinations of a broad-band click and a test signal shows a close match between the single unit data and previous studies of range difference discrimination in the presence of clicks.
Echolocation by Insect-Eating Bats
This article describes the echolocation behavior of insect-eating bats and shows how differing circumstances such as habitat type, foraging mode, and diet favor different signal types, and outlines the perceptual tasks that must be performed by foraging bats.
Effectiveness of tiger moth (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae) chemical defenses against an insectivorous bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
It is argued that intense selective pressure provided by vertebrate predators including bats has driven the tiger moths to sequester more and more potent deterrents against them and to acquire a suite of morphology characteristics and behaviors that advertise their noxious taste.
A comparative study of ultrasound‐triggered behaviour in tiger beetles (Cicindelidae)
Superimposing these data on a current phylogeny of the North American tiger beetles suggests that acoustic behaviour (and hearing) is a shared primitive trait among the taxa examined here and that there have been at least five independent losses of this character.