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Auditory characteristics and sexual dimorphism in the gypsy moth



Auditory characteristics and sexual dimorphism in the gypsy moth



Physiological Entomology 13(1): 9-14



The auditory characteristics of two populations (laboratory reared and wild) of North American gypsy moths (Lymantriidae: Lymantria dispar L.) were sampled and the neurally derived thresholds of wild males and females to frequencies from 5 to 150 kHz compared. The noctuoid auditory receptors. A1 and A2-cell, and putative proprioceptor, B-cell, were identified. Both sexes possess neurally responsive ears but females exhibit median best frequencies significantly lower than those of males. Audiogram comparisons revealed significantly different thresholds at 5-15 kHz, 30-120 kHz and 130-140 kHz, with females less sensitive to all but the lowest frequencies. Wild male populations reveal less audiogram variability than laboratory-reared individuals, while females' tuning curves appear more similar. The high variability present in colony moths warrants caution in the use of laboratory-reared insects for studies that assume natural levels of selection pressure. We suggest that male L. dispar possess adaptively functional ears tuned to the frequencies in the echo-location signals of bats but that the flightless females of this species are not exposed to bat predation and therefore possess ears in a state of evolutionary degeneration.

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Accession: 001533791

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3032.1988.tb00903.x



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