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Applied Entomology and Zoology

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 87–93 | Cite as

Ultrasonic courtship song of the yellow peach moth, Conogethes punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)

  • Ryo NakanoEmail author
  • Takuma Takanashi
  • Fumio Ihara
  • Koji Mishiro
  • Masatoshi Toyama
  • Yukio Ishikawa
Original Research Paper

Abstract

Although generation of ultrasound during courtship has been reported for an increasing number of moth species, the effect of the ultrasound on mating remains uncertain in many cases because of a lack of proper verification. Here we report that males of the yellow peach moth Conogethes punctiferalis (Crambidae) sexually communicate with females by emitting loud ultrasound (103 dB peak equivalent sound pressure level at 1 cm; dominant frequency 82 kHz) before attempting copulation. The male ultrasound consists of consecutive clicks (pulses) in the early phase of the sound train and consecutive pulses (burst) in the late phase. When females were deafened by puncturing the abdominal tympanic membranes, copulation never occurred. We found that deafened females did not assume the wing-raising posture, which, for normal pairs, always precedes successful copulation. Our findings indicate that male courtship ultrasound evokes wing-raising as an acceptance behavior from females, which in turn evokes a copulation attempt by a male.

Keywords

Acoustic communication Courtship song Mate acceptance Ultrasound Yellow peach moth 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank N. Yanagida (NARO Institute of Fruit Tree Science) for rearing insects, and S. Komazaki and I. Adachi (NARO Institute of Fruit Tree Science) for helpful comments on this study. This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (R.N., #23780053), and a research grant from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (T.T., R.N., Y.I.). We would like to dedicate this paper to the memory of Professor Dr Elisabeth K.V. Kalko, 1962–2011 (University of Ulm; Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute), who made a great contribution to understanding of echolocation behavior in many insectivorous bat species.

Supplementary material

ESM 1 Courtship behavior of C. punctiferalis. The male courtship ultrasound is converted into audible sound by use of an ultrasound detector. The first video clip is played at the original speed, and the second clip at slow speed (× 0.125). After emitting ultrasound, the male landed near the female that raised her wings, and subsequently copulated with her. (MPG 2960 kb)

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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryo Nakano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Takuma Takanashi
    • 2
  • Fumio Ihara
    • 1
  • Koji Mishiro
    • 1
  • Masatoshi Toyama
    • 1
  • Yukio Ishikawa
    • 3
  1. 1.Breeding and Pest Management DivisionNARO Institute of Fruit Tree ScienceTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Forest EntomologyForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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