Endothermy and chorusing behaviour in the African platypleurine cicada Pycna semiclara (Germar, 1834) (Hemiptera: Cicadidae)

Villet, M.H. and Sanborn, A.F. and Phillips, P.K. (2003) Endothermy and chorusing behaviour in the African platypleurine cicada Pycna semiclara (Germar, 1834) (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 81 (8). pp. 1437-1444. ISSN 0008-4301



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Cicadas use acoustic signals to find mates and therefore offer a phylogenetically independent opportunity to test the generality of ideas about acoustic communication that were developed from studies of other animals. Pycna semiclara (Germar, 1834) (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) is a forest-dwelling platypleurine cicada that uses its calling song to form choruses and attract mates. Additionally, P. semiclara produces an encounter call that is involved in courtship and also in spacing males within choruses. Males generally call from exposed trunks and branches within the understory but clear of the undergrowth and fight with other males that call within about 50 cm of them. Choruses sing sporadically throughout the day but focus most of their calling activity into half-hour bouts at dawn and dusk. Body size and ambient temperature had no significant effect on spectral or temporal characteristics of the calling song. Body temperature measurements indicate that P. semiclara thermoregulates endothermically, with a body temperature of more than 22 °C above ambient temperature being measured during calling activity at dusk. Such endothermy provides an advantage to the cicadas by allowing them to call during crepuscular hours when atmospheric conditions are most optimal for acoustic communication and predation risks are minimal. Coincidentally, endogenously regulating body temperature allows the temporal characteristics of the call to be unaffected by ambient temperature changes.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Acoustic signals; acoustics; forestry; thermal effects; biology; body temperature; calling behavior; communication behavior; signal; Animalia; Cicada; Cicadidae; Hemiptera
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:1275
Deposited On:18 Dec 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:20
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