Superloud moth jams bat sonar

Loud blast essentially renders moths invisible to predators

By Susan Milius, 17:59 PM January 9, 2009

A gray moth with orange highlights called Bertholdia trigona “goes berserk,” making lots of noise above the range of human hearing when a hunting bat approaches, says William Conner of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. Bats rely on their natural sonar to locate flying moths in the dark, but in a lab setup, the bats rarely managed to nab a loud moth.

When researchers disabled the moth’s noisemaking organs, though, bats caught the moths in midair with ease, Conner reported at the ...

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