Picture of a black hole

Strathclyde Open Access research that creates ripples...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by Strathclyde physicists involved in observing gravitational waves and black hole mergers as part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) - but also other internationally significant research from the Department of Physics. Discover why Strathclyde's physics research is making ripples...

Strathprints also exposes world leading research from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

The next step in cicada audition: measuring pico-mechanics in the cicada's ear

Windmill, James F.C. and Sueur, J. and Robert, Daniel (2009) The next step in cicada audition: measuring pico-mechanics in the cicada's ear. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212 (24). pp. 4079-4083. ISSN 0022-0949

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

Female cicadas use sound when they select a mate from a chorus of singing males. The cicada has a tympanal ear; and the tympanal membrane, and constituent tympanal ridge, act as both acousto-mechanical transducers and frequency filters. The tympanal ridge is physically connected to a large number of mechanoreceptor neurons via a cuticular extension known as the tympanal apodeme. Using microscanning laser Doppler vibrometry, we measured for the first time the in vivo vibrations of the apodeme of female Cicadatra atra in response to the motion of the tympanum driven by sound. These measurements reveal that the nanoscale motion of the tympanal membrane is over a magnitude greater than that of the apodeme. Furthermore, the apodeme acts as an additional mechanical frequency filter, enhancing that of the tympanal ridge, narrowing the frequency band of vibration at the mechanoreceptor neurons to that of the male calling song. This study enhances our understanding of the mechanical link between the external ear of the cicada and its sensory cells.