Male moth’s song has double meaning!
The male yellow peach moth (Conogethes punctiferalis, pictured) belts out a combination melody to both woo the ladies and repel competitors.
Many moth species sing courtship songs, and until now, scientists knew of only two types of such melodies. Some species imitate attacking bats, causing a female to freeze in place, whereas others croon tunes that directly woo the women.
In a new study, scientists demonstrate that the male yellow peach moth (Conogethes punctiferalis, pictured) belts out a combination melody.
The strange sounds of the male yellow peach moth
The male yellow peach moth emits ultrasonic symphonies composed of short and long pulses (contraction of abdominal sound membranes).
Scientists demonstrated that the short pulses, similar to the hunting calls of insectivorous horseshoe bats, aren’t directed at females, but rather at rival males. This is unlike other moth species (see above).
It is thus the first moth species known to have a dual-purpose melody. Amazing nature!