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Deaf moths employ acoustic Müllerian mimicry against bats using wingbeat-powered tymbals

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Deaf moths employ acoustic Müllerian mimicry against bats using wingbeat-powered tymbals. / O'Reilly, Liam; Agassiz, David; Neil, Thomas; Holderied, Marc.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 9, 1444, 05.02.2019.

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@article{134e3cd2484049509912c626615fc875,
title = "Deaf moths employ acoustic M{\"u}llerian mimicry against bats using wingbeat-powered tymbals",
abstract = "Emitting ultrasound upon hearing an attacking bat is an effective defence strategy used by several moth taxa. Here we reveal how Yponomeuta moths acquire sophisticated acoustic protection despite being deaf themselves and hence unable to respond to bat attacks. Instead, flying Yponomeuta produce bursts of ultrasonic clicks perpetually; a striated patch in their hind wing clicks as the beating wing rotates and bends. This wing structure is strikingly similar to the thorax tymbals with which arctiine moths produce their anti-bat sounds. And indeed, Yponomeuta sounds closely mimic such arctiine signals, revealing convergence in form and function. Because both moth taxa contain noxious compounds, we conclude they are mutual M{\"u}llerian acoustic mimics. Yponomeuta’s perpetual clicking would however also attract bat predators. In response, their click amplitude is reduced and affords acoustic protection just as far as required, matching the distance over which bat biosonar would pick up Yponomeuta echoes anyway – advanced acoustic defences for a deaf moth.",
keywords = "Microlepidoptera, Yponomeuta, acoustic aposematism, M{\"u}llerian mimicry, aeroelastic tymbal",
author = "Liam O'Reilly and David Agassiz and Thomas Neil and Marc Holderied",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
day = "5",
doi = "10.1038/s41598-018-37812-z",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
journal = "Scientific Reports",
issn = "2045-2322",
publisher = "Springer Nature",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Deaf moths employ acoustic Müllerian mimicry against bats using wingbeat-powered tymbals

AU - O'Reilly, Liam

AU - Agassiz, David

AU - Neil, Thomas

AU - Holderied, Marc

PY - 2019/2/5

Y1 - 2019/2/5

N2 - Emitting ultrasound upon hearing an attacking bat is an effective defence strategy used by several moth taxa. Here we reveal how Yponomeuta moths acquire sophisticated acoustic protection despite being deaf themselves and hence unable to respond to bat attacks. Instead, flying Yponomeuta produce bursts of ultrasonic clicks perpetually; a striated patch in their hind wing clicks as the beating wing rotates and bends. This wing structure is strikingly similar to the thorax tymbals with which arctiine moths produce their anti-bat sounds. And indeed, Yponomeuta sounds closely mimic such arctiine signals, revealing convergence in form and function. Because both moth taxa contain noxious compounds, we conclude they are mutual Müllerian acoustic mimics. Yponomeuta’s perpetual clicking would however also attract bat predators. In response, their click amplitude is reduced and affords acoustic protection just as far as required, matching the distance over which bat biosonar would pick up Yponomeuta echoes anyway – advanced acoustic defences for a deaf moth.

AB - Emitting ultrasound upon hearing an attacking bat is an effective defence strategy used by several moth taxa. Here we reveal how Yponomeuta moths acquire sophisticated acoustic protection despite being deaf themselves and hence unable to respond to bat attacks. Instead, flying Yponomeuta produce bursts of ultrasonic clicks perpetually; a striated patch in their hind wing clicks as the beating wing rotates and bends. This wing structure is strikingly similar to the thorax tymbals with which arctiine moths produce their anti-bat sounds. And indeed, Yponomeuta sounds closely mimic such arctiine signals, revealing convergence in form and function. Because both moth taxa contain noxious compounds, we conclude they are mutual Müllerian acoustic mimics. Yponomeuta’s perpetual clicking would however also attract bat predators. In response, their click amplitude is reduced and affords acoustic protection just as far as required, matching the distance over which bat biosonar would pick up Yponomeuta echoes anyway – advanced acoustic defences for a deaf moth.

KW - Microlepidoptera

KW - Yponomeuta

KW - acoustic aposematism

KW - Müllerian mimicry

KW - aeroelastic tymbal

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85061120976&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/s41598-018-37812-z

DO - 10.1038/s41598-018-37812-z

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

M1 - 1444

ER -