This bushcricket may be tiny, but males can chirp as loud as a power saw to attract females, a new study says.
Using highly calibrated microphones, researchers recorded male bushcrickets in Colombia singing at frequencies of about 74 kilohertz. The human ear can hear in a range of about 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz.
The males produce sound through "stridulation," or rubbing their wings together. One wing acts as a scraper to rub against a row of teeth-like grooves on the other wing. (Watch a video of the bushcricket chirping.)
The bushcricket is notable for another reason: It had been thought extinct, said study co-author Ben Chivers.
Since 1891, no new descriptions of the species Arachnoscelis arachnoides had been recorded or published. But after one of his co-authors rediscovered a population of the bushcricket in Colombia, the researchers were able to gather a sample and study their cacophonous chirps, according to the study, published recently in the Journal of Bioacoustics. (Also see "Urban Grasshoppers Sing Louder.")
"The species had not been described for over a hundred years, so it was quite a good thing we could get a hold of some and create a detailed description," said Chivers.
—Jaclyn Skurie and Rachel Kaufman