- University of Toronto
- University of Southern Denmark
We investigated the relationship between predator detection threshold and antipredator behaviour in noctuoid moths. Moths with ears sensitive to the echolocation calls of insectivorous bats use avoidance manoeuvres in flight to evade these predators. Earless moths generally fly less than eared species as a primary defence against predation by bats. For eared moths, however, there is interspecific variation in auditory sensitivity. At the species level, and when controlling for shared evolutionary history, nocturnal flight time and auditory sensitivity were positively correlated in moths, a relationship that most likely reflects selection pressure from aerial-hawking bats. We suggest that species-specific differences in the detection of predator cues are important but often overlooked factors in the evolution and maintenance of antipredator behaviour.
Moths were collected from QUBS, decapitated, dissected, audiograms