The cyclopean ear: a new sense for the praying mantis

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Science  14 Feb 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4739, pp. 727-729
DOI: 10.1126/science.3945806


The praying mantis, thought to be deaf, possesses a sensitive and specialized acoustic sense. Neural recordings show that the auditory system responds primarily to ultrasound between 25 and 45 kilohertz with thresholds of 55 to 60 decibels. Other insects with auditory tympana possess paired, laterally placed ears; the mantis has only a single ear that is located in the ventral midline between the metathoracic legs. Some species of mantis abruptly and dramatically alter their flight path when stimulated with ultrasonic pulses, suggesting a behavioral response to insectivorous echo-locating bats.

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