In tethered flight, Parasphendale agrionina (Gerst.) males respond to ultrasonic stimuli with a unique suite of behaviors that includes full extension of the forelegs, strong dorsiflexion of the abdomen, a head roll, a 5% decrease in wingbeat frequency and a 33% increase in forewing excursion. Latency for the foreleg extension averages 66 ms while the latency to onset of yaw is 174 ms. The direction of the turn is unrelated to the location of the speaker. Yaw magnitude and latency are only weakly related to sound pressure level, and variability in these and other parameters is high. The behavior shows moderately sharp tuning to 40–60 kHz with a lowest mean threshold of 60 dB SPL. A male will not respond to ultrasound unless in flight, and the context-gating is independent of sensory input from the tarsi. Several components of the in-flight evasive behavior resemble defensive displays on the ground, and we suggest that this mantis has responded to predation pressure from bats with both flight-derived maneuvers and an aerial deimatic display.
Ultrasound-triggered, flight-gated evasive maneuvers in the praying mantis Parasphendale agrionina. II. Tethered flight
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D. D. Yager, M. L. May; Ultrasound-triggered, flight-gated evasive maneuvers in the praying mantis Parasphendale agrionina. II. Tethered flight. J Exp Biol 1 September 1990; 152 (1): 41–58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.152.1.41
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