Why are some nocturnal rainforest crickets so insensitive to the echolocation calls of insectivorous bats?
For almost any nocturnal insect on the wing one of the most important group of predators are insectivorous bats, through their ability to detect their prey by echolocation.
These insects have ears to detect the ultrasonic calls of bats, and initiate evasive behaviours such as dives or flight away from the direction of echolocation calls. In the sensory arms race between predator and prey the most important parameter appears to be the detection distance of predator or prey, giving significant advantage for a catch or escape with a larger detection distance.
In my talk I report behavioural and neuronal data of rainforest cricket species which seem to ignore the rule and have surprisingly high thresholds in their response to bat calls. I will show that under the high background noise of the nocturnal rainforest this is nevertheless adaptive.