Navigation Links
Moths mimic sounds to survive

In a night sky filled with hungry bats, good-tasting moths increase their chances of survival by mimicking the sounds of their bad-tasting cousins, according to a new Wake Forest University study.

Published in the May 29 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study is the first to definitively show how an animal species uses acoustic mimicry as a defensive strategy.

The research was conducted by Jesse Barber, a doctoral student in biology at Wake Forest. William E. Conner, professor of biology at Wake Forest, co-authored the study.

In response to the sonar that bats use to locate prey, the tiger moths make ultrasonic clicks of their own. They broadcast the clicks from a paired set of structures called “tymbals.” Many species of tiger moth use the tymbals to make specific sounds that warn the bat of their bad taste. Other species make sounds that closely mimic those high-frequency sounds.

“We found that the bats do not eat the good-tasting moths that make the similar sounds,” said Barber, who has worked on this research for four years.

In the study, other types of moths that were similar in size to the sound-emitting moths, but did not make sounds, were gobbled up by the bats.

The researcher trained free-flying bats to hunt moths in view of two high-speed infrared video cameras to record predator-prey interactions that occur in fractions of a second. He also recorded the sounds emitted from each moth, as well as the sounds made by the bats.

All the bats quickly learned to avoid the noxious moths first offered to them, associating the warning sounds with bad taste. They then avoided a second sound-producing species even though it was not chemically protected. This is similar to the way birds avoid butterflies that look like the bad-tasting Monarch.

The two species of bats used were big brown bats and red bats. Barber raised the bats in the lab so behavio r learned in the wild would not influence the results of the experiment.

Barber said anecdotal observations have suggested that animals such as snakes, owls and bees use acoustic mimicry. This study takes the next step and provides the definitive experimental evidence for how mimicking sounds helps an animal survive.
'"/>

Source:Wake Forest University


Related biology news :

1. Mouse brain tumors mimic those in human genetic disorder
2. Scientists to mimic nature for newest cancer drugs
3. Bacterial protein mimics host to cripple defenses
4. Largest computational biology simulation mimics life’s most essential nanomachine
5. Engineered mouse mimics cognitive aspects of schizophrenia
6. Poison dart frog mimics gain when birds learn to stay away
7. Mouse mimics chronic leukemia, will aid drug development
8. Magnetism and mimicry of nature hold hope for better medicine, environmental safety
9. Researchers make nanosheets that mimic protein formation
10. MITs ocean model precisely mimics microbes life cycles
11. New synthetic self-assembling macromolecules mimic nature

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... -- The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the ... and dynamic digital window into the human cell. The ... of deep learning to create predictive models of cell ... growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer ... available resources created and shared by the Allen Institute ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On April ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s ... exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health and ... Hack the Genome is the ... been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 ... by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) ... Analytics Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In ... top 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic ... recognized CHS for its high level of EMR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 25, 2017 , ... Throughout this webinar, participants will learn ... development and economic goals were achieved in both industry and academic settings. Attendees ... along with techniques for scaling production of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and new ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Benchworks announced that its ... the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). Nominated by chapter president Donna Grande, ... in person once each quarter and holds monthly conference calls. In addition, the ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... and WASHINGTON, DC, USA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... of the economy as well as an enabler of life-saving medical and other vital ... optics and photonics . They joined others in the scientific community today in responding ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... Firmex FileSend, a cloud-based file transfer solution that makes it easy for organizations ... without having to worry about cumbersome FTP software or email file size limitations. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: