Males of the moth Symmoracma minoralis (Snellen) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae, Nymphulinae) were observed producing a high-intensity calling song (95 dB SPL at a distance of 10 cm) with a complex amplitude and frequency modulation (peaks of carrier frequency at 60 and 120 kHz). This sound is produced by a hitherto unknown type of sound organ located in the last abdominal (genital) segment, which may act as a tymbal. The observed directionality of sound output is probably achieved by means of a hollow cone surrounding the sound organ. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that the tympanal organs of S. minoralis are most sensitive in the frequency range from 50 to at least 100 kHz, which is distinctly higher than the minimum threshold levels in most other moths yet examined. The origin of genital sound production is discussed with respect to abdominal pheromone glands and pheromone-releasing movements.

This content is only available via PDF.