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January 15, 2009

Versatile Aggressive Mimicry of Cicadas by an Australian Predatory Katydid

Filed under: Australia | David Marshall | Kathy Hill — Dan @ 10:34 pm

David Marshall and Kathy Hill have discovered that a particular species of katydid mimics the wing-flick of female cicadas to lure male cicadas to their certain doom.

We have found that predatory Chlorobalius leucoviridis katydids (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) can attract male cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) by imitating the species-specific wing-flick replies of sexually receptive female cicadas. This aggressive mimicry is accomplished both acoustically, with tegminal clicks, and visually, with synchronized body jerks. Remarkably, the katydids respond effectively to a variety of complex, species-specific Cicadettini songs, including songs of many cicada species that the predator has never encountered.

Read the entire research article: Versatile Aggressive Mimicry of Cicadas by an Australian Predatory Katydid.

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