- Not Exactly Rocket Science
The Startling Evolution of a Love Song
Crickets are known for their loud chirping songs, which males use to attract females, and which hecklers use to point out failed jokes. Typically, these songs are low-pitched enough for us to hear, but one group of crickets—the lebinthines—produce high-pitched melodies that lie beyond the range of our ears. To us, they sound mute. To other crickets, they sound… maybe a bit like bats?
The lebinthines’ calls lie in the same frequency range as the sonar squeaks of predatory bats. Most species of cricket would flee if they heard such sounds, so why on earth would the male lebinthines use them to try and attract females? Hannah ter Hofstede and Stefan Schöneich have now solved the mystery, and it’s