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

Gu, Jun-Jie, Montealegre-Z, Fernando, Robert, Daniel , Engel, Michael S., Qiao, Ge-Xia and Ren, Dong (2012) Wing stridulation in a Jurassic katydid (Insecta, Orthoptera) produced low-pitched musical calls to attract females. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (10). pp. 3868-3873. ISSN 0027-8424

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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-band-width 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.

Keywords:call evolution, Tettigoniidae, biological asymmetry, bushcricket, biomechanics
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
H Engineering > H340 Acoustics and Vibration
F Physical Sciences > F641 Palaeontology
C Biological Sciences > C790 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry not elsewhere classified
C Biological Sciences > C340 Entomology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:6262
Deposited On:04 Oct 2012 20:20

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