Crickets With Highest Ultrasonic Frequencies Found

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Nature’s Speakers

Scientists from the Universities of Lincoln, Strathclyde and Toronto have identified three new genus of Katydid (bushcrickets) that produce the highest ultrasonic frequencies of sounds. The species were discovered in the rainforests of South America and they use such high-pitched calls to attract females for mating.

Katydids produce this sound by ‘stridulation’ wherein they rub one wing known as scraper against a row of teeth-like extensions on the other wing. The scraper is next to a vibrating drum which acts like a man-made speaker. Researchers say these bushcrickets have reduced wing sizes from other crickets which don’t allow them to fly, but enable them to create a ‘closed box’ with its right wing to radiate sound.

The sounds radiated being the highest in frequency led the scientists to name the crickets as Supersonus. Supersonus are capable of producing frequencies reaching as high as 150 kHZ which protects them from predators such as bats. According to researchers, understanding the ability of these insects will enable them to develop advanced audio technologies and sensitive microphones.


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