This Thursday, Dr. Jayne Yack will be giving a talk titled:
Caterpillars Scream and Butterflies Listen: Sound Strategies for Avoiding Attack
at 12:30 in the EEB lounge (BioSciences 4338)
The seminar is hosted by the Martin Lab
I am intrigued by the unique sensory systems of animals. In my laboratory we study the acoustic sensory ‘worlds’ of (primarily) insects. Insects have an amazing diversity of sensory organs that detect and process acoustic signals extending far beyond our human sensory capabilities. We employ specialized instruments and methods to tap into these communication channels and identify novel sensory organs.
I will discuss new research on acoustic communication in butterflies and caterpillars- insects whose acoustic sensory capabilities are poorly understood. Although these insects were previously thought to be both deaf and mute, we now have evidence that they rely on a wide range of sounds and vibrations to survive. I will discuss how butterflies use their hearing to eavesdrop on predators, and how some caterpillars whistle, click, scream, and listen to avoid being attacked by predators and parasitoids. I’ll also reflect on how these interesting acoustic communication systems may have evolved.
Dr. Yack is a member of the Biology department at Carleton University. Her lab website can be found here.