Picture map of Europe with pins indicating European capital cities

Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

Explore research outputs by the European Policies Research Centre...

Hearing in the crepuscular owl butterfly (Caligo eurilochus, Nymphalidae)

Lucas, Kathleen and Mongrain, Jennifer and Windmill, James F. C. and Robert, Daniel and Yack, Jayne E. (2014) Hearing in the crepuscular owl butterfly (Caligo eurilochus, Nymphalidae). Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, 200 (10). pp. 891-898. ISSN 0340-7594

[img]
Preview
PDF (Lucas-etal-JCPA2014-hearing-in-the-crepuscular-owl-butterfly)
Lucas_etal_JCPA2014_hearing_in_the_crepuscular_owl_butterfly.pdf - Accepted Author Manuscript

Download (549kB) | Preview

Abstract

Tympanal organs are widespread in Nymphalidae butterflies, with a great deal of variability in the morphology of these ears. How this variation reflects differences in hearing physiology is not currently understood. This study provides the first examination of the hearing organs of the crepuscular owl butterfly, Caligo eurilochus. We hypothesize that (1) its hearing may function to detect the high-frequency calls of bats, or (2) like its diurnal relatives it may function to detect avian predators, or (3) it may have lost auditory sensitivity as a result of the lack of selective pressures. To test these hypotheses we examined the tuning and sensitivity of the C. eurilochus Vogel’s organ using laser Doppler vibrometry and extracellular neurophysiology. We show that the C. eurilochus ear responds to sound and is most sensitive to frequencies between 1-4 kHz, as confirmed by both the vibration of the tympanal membrane and the physiological response of the associated nerve branches. In comparison to the hearing of its diurnally active relative, Morpho peleides, C. eurilochus has a narrower frequency range with higher auditory thresholds. We conclude that hearing in this butterfly is partially-regressed, and may reflect a trade-off between hearing and vision for survival in low light conditions.