Lack of correlation between vertical distribution and carrier frequency, and preference for open spaces in arboreal katydids that use extreme ultrasound, in Gorgona, Colombia (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)
Male Tettigoniidae emit sound to attract conspecific females. The sound is produced by stridulation. During stridulation the forewings open and close, but it is during the closing stroke that the scraper contacts the file teeth to generate the predominant sound components, which are amplified by adjacent wing cells specialized in sound radiation. The sounds usually exceed the sonic boundary and might occur above 40 kHz, reaching extreme ultrasonic frequencies of 150kHz in some species. Here we test the hypothesis that Tettigoniidae species should prefer microhabitats that favour efficient signal transmission, i.e. that there is a relationship of sound frequency with the vertical distribution of the species (from ground to canopy) at Gorgona National Natural Park, Colombia. We sampled 16 trees and four different altitudinal levels between 1 and 20m above the understory vegetation. We placed collecting blankets separated by vertical distances of 5m, and knocked insects down using the technique known as fogging. We found no correlation between vertical distribution and carrier frequency, but there was a preference for open spaces (below the canopy and above the understory) in species using extreme ultrasound. This is the first quantitative description of the vertical distribution in neotropical species of the family Tettigoniidae and its relationship to the calling song frequency. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (Suppl. 1): 289-296. Epub 2014 February 01.