Tiger Moth Jams Bat Sonar

  title={Tiger Moth Jams Bat Sonar},
  author={Aaron J. Corcoran and Jesse R. Barber and William E. Conner},
  pages={325 - 327}
Moths Battling Bats Many night-flying insects hear the sonar sounds of attacking bats and take evasive action. Among moths, evasive flight is often accompanied by the production of ultrasonic sounds. Three functions of these sounds have been proposed: to startle the bat, to warn of distastefulness, or to “jam” the bat's sonar system. Corcoran et al. (p. 325) studied a species of tiger moth (Bertholdia trigona) that emits a particularly dense series of ultrasonic clicks and the interception… 
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.
Sonar jamming in the bat-moth arms race
Evidence is strong for the warning and startle hypotheses, although the startle effect is ephemeral, and the sonar jamming hypothesis has not been confirmed to occur in nature.
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.
Hawkmoths produce anti-bat ultrasound
Hawkmoths present a novel and tractable system to study both the function and evolution of anti-bat defences, and preliminary data indicate that females also produce ultrasound to touch and playback of echolocation attack, but they do so with an entirely different mechanism.
To Scream or to Listen? Prey Detection and Discrimination in Animal-Eating Bats
It is now known that at least one species of bat is able to resolve echoes reflected from large insect prey from the Echoes reflected from the vegetation on which the insect is perched, because background echoes were assumed to mask those reflected from prey.
Anti-bat ultrasound production in moths is globally and phylogenetically widespread
A long-term study across the globe, assaying moth response to playback of bat echolocation, finds preliminary evidence of independent origins of sonar jamming in at least six subfamilies and indicates that jamming and warning are not mutually exclusive strategies.
Anti-Bat Ultrasound Production in Moths is Globally and Phylogenetically Widespread
A long-term study across the globe, assaying moth response to playback of bat echolocation, finds preliminary evidence of independent origins of sonar jamming in at least six subfamilies, and suggests that jamming and warning are not mutually exclusive strategies.
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.
Moth hearing and sound communication
Recent findings on moth sound communication reveal that close-range (~ a few cm) communication with low-intensity ultrasounds “whispered” by males during courtship is not uncommon, contrary to the general notion of moths predominantly being silent.


Tiger moth responses to a simulated bat attack: timing and duty cycle
No relationship exists between the duty cycle of a tiger moth's call (and thus the call's probability of jamming the bat) and its temporal response to bat attack, calling into doubt the assumptions behind the jamming hypothesis.
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.
Sound strategy: acoustic aposematism in the bat–tiger moth arms race
It is found that the bats only respond to the sounds of arctiids when they are paired with defensive chemistry, and the sounds are in essence a warning to the bats that the moth is unpalatable—an aposematic signal.
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.
The adaptive function of tiger moth clicks against echolocating bats: an experimental and synthetic approach
These findings support the hypotheses that the clicks of arctiid moths are both an active defence (through echolocation disruption) and a reliable indicator of chemical defence against aerial-hawking bats.
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.
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.
The influence of arctiid moth clicks on bat echolocation; jamming or warning?
The results suggest that the function of the garden tiger and ruby tiger clicks in nature is to warn the bat of the moth's distastefulness, and not to ‘jam’ the bat's sonar system.
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 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.