Bat Predation and Its Influence on Calling Behavior in Neotropical Katydids

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Science  02 Oct 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4823, pp. 64-67
DOI: 10.1126/science.238.4823.64


Insectivorous bats have influenced the development of antipredator behavior in moths, green lacewings, crickets, and mantids; until recently, such adaptations were unknown in katydids. Foliage-gleaning bats in Panama can use the female-attracting, airborne calling songs of nocturnal katydids to locate prey. They also feed heavily on these insects. Katydid species sympatric with these bats exhibit markedly reduced calling song duty cycles. Males supplement shortened songs with complex, species-specific tremulations that generate vibrations that are inaudible to bats but reach conspecific females through a shared plant substrate. Female katydids do not call audibly but are also preyed on in large numbers, perhaps as a result of moving toward calling males.

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