Structural biomechanics determine spectral purity of bush-cricket calls

Chivers, Benedict, Jonsson, Thorin, Soulsbury, Carl and Montealegre-Z, Fernando (2017) Structural biomechanics determine spectral purity of bush-cricket calls. Biology Letters, 13 (11). pp. 1-6. ISSN 1744-9561

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Bush-crickets (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) generate sound using tegminal stridulation. Signalling effectiveness is affected by the widely varying acoustic parameters of temporal pattern, frequency and spectral purity (tonality). During stridulation, frequency multiplication occurs as a scraper on one wing scrapes across a file of sclerotized teeth on the other. The frequency with which these tooth–scraper interactions occur, along with radiating wing cell resonant properties, dictates both frequency and tonality in the call. Bush-cricket species produce calls ranging from resonant, tonal calls through to non-resonant, broadband signals. The differences are believed to result from differences in file tooth arrangement and wing radiators, but a systematic test of the structural causes of broadband or tonal calls is lacking. Using phylogenetically controlled structural equation models, we show that parameters of file tooth density and file length are the best-fitting predictors of tonality across 40 bush-cricket species. Features of file morphology constrain the production of spectrally pure signals, but systematic distribution of teeth alone does not explain pure-tone sound production in this family.

Keywords:Stridulation, Bioacoustics, Entomology, Path analysis, Orthoptera
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C340 Entomology
C Biological Sciences > C100 Biology
F Physical Sciences > F380 Acoustics
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:29805
Deposited On:29 Nov 2017 16:27

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