Wing stridulation in a Jurassic katydid (Insecta, Orthoptera) produced low-pitched musical calls to attract females

F Montealegre-Z, D Robert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Behaviors are challenging to reconstruct for extinct species, particularly the nature and origins of acoustic communication. Here we unravel the song of Archaboilus musicus Gu, Engel and Ren sp. nov., a 165 million year old stridulating katydid. From the exceptionally preserved morphology of its stridulatory apparatus in the forewings and phylogenetic comparison with extant species, we reveal that A. musicus radiated pure-tone (musical) songs using a resonant mechanism tuned at a frequency of 6.4 kHz. Contrary to previous scenarios, musical songs were an early innovation, preceding the broad-bandwidth songs of extant katydids. Providing an accurate insight into paleoacoustic ecology, the low-frequency musical song of A. musicus was well-adapted to communication in the lightly cluttered environment of the mid-Jurassic forest produced by coniferous trees and giant ferns, suggesting that reptilian, amphibian, and mammalian insectivores could have also heard A. musicus' song.
Translated title of the contributionWing stridulation in a Jurassic katydid (Insecta, Orthoptera) produced low-pitched musical calls to attract females
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3868 - 3873
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume109
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Author of Publication Reviewed: Jun-Jie Gu, Fernando Montealegre-Z*, Daniel Robert, Michael S. Engel, Ge-Xia Qiao, and Dong Ren
Publisher: United States National Academy of Sciences
Other: (*) Joint first author

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