How your hive pests have evolved to avoid bat predation!

An extraordinary (evolutionary) war is being played out between the bat and the moth, as reported in the Royal Society Publishing ‘Biology letters’.

“Many species of moth have evolved ultrasound-sensitive ears owing to the predation pressure of echolocating bats—this system is one of the best known examples of an evolutionary ‘arms-race’ between predator and prey’, say authors Hannah M Moir, Joseph C Jackson and James FC Windmill. ‘As both bat and moth respond to adaptations in each other, a wide variety of mechanisms have evolved in both animals.”

The authors’ research shows that the greater wax moth has evolved to hear ultrasonic frequencies approaching 300 kHz: ‘With auditory frequency sensitivity that is unprecedented in the animal kingdom, the greater wax moth is ready and armed for any echolocation call adaptations made by the bat in the on-going bat–moth evolutionary war’.

Read the full paper here. Story sent by Andy Pedley.


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