Journal of Insect Behavior

, 24:468 | Cite as

Species Recognition During Substrate-Borne Communication in Nezara viridula (L.) (Pentatomidae: Heteroptera)

  • Alenka Žunič
  • Meta Virant-Doberlet
  • Andrej Čokl


The information code in the temporal and spectral characteristics of the substrate-borne communication signals produced by insects has been primarily studied in insects in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha. In the present study we investigated which of the female calling song (FCS) parameters in Nezara viridula (L.) (Heteroptera, Pentatomidae) are essential for recognition by conspecific males. In playback experiments we measured male vibrational responsiveness to FCS signals varying in the durations of pulse trains and inter-pulse train intervals, repetition times, duty cycles, and dominant frequencies, and determined the preference range for each specific parameter. Males were able to distinguish songs of different temporal and frequency parameters and responded best to values characteristic of the song of conspecific females. Signal recognition is achieved on the basis of two temporal filters tuned to the durations of the pulse train and inter-pulse train interval. Males responded best to the dominant frequency characteristic of conspecific songs, which are tuned to the resonant properties of the herbaceous plants used for intraspecific signal transmission during communication.


Substrate-borne signals male preference species recognition signal evolution 



We are grateful to colleagues in Ljubljana for help in collecting insects and maintaining the laboratory colony. We are indebted to Dr. Jocelyn G. Millar (UCR) for critical reading of the manuscript and correcting grammatical mistakes. We thank anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions how to improve the text. This work was financially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (Research Programme P1-0255).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alenka Žunič
    • 1
  • Meta Virant-Doberlet
    • 1
  • Andrej Čokl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyNational Institute of BiologyLjubljanaSlovenia

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