|Title||Parasitoid flies exploiting acoustic communication of insects—comparative aspects of independent functional adaptations|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Lakes-Harlan R, Lehmann GUC|
|Journal||Journal of Comparative Physiology A|
Two taxa of parasitoid Diptera have independently evolved tympanal hearing organs to locate sound producing host insects. Here we review and compare functional adaptations in both groups of parasitoids, Ormiini and Emblemasomatini. Tympanal organs in both groups originate from a common precursor organ and are somewhat similar in morphology and physiology. In terms of functional adaptations, the hearing thresholds are largely adapted to the frequency spectra of the calling song of the hosts. The large host ranges of some parasitoids indicate that their neuronal filter for the temporal patterns of the calling songs are broader than those found in intraspecific communication. For host localization the night active Ormia ochracea and the day active E. auditrix are able to locate a sound source precisely in space. For phonotaxis flight and walking phases are used, whereby O. ochracea approaches hosts during flight while E. auditrix employs intermediate landings and re-orientation, apparently separating azimuthal and vertical angles. The consequences of the parasitoid pressure are discussed for signal evolution and intraspecific communication of the host species. This natural selection pressure might have led to different avoidance strategies in the hosts: silent males in crickets, shorter signals in tettigoniids and fluctuating population abundances in cicadas.