|Heller, K-G; Hemp, C: Fiddler on the tree - a bush-cricket species with unusual stridulatory organs and song, PLoS One, 9(3), e92366 (2014), doi:DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092366|
Insects of the order Orthoptera are well-known for their acoustic communication. The structures used for this purpose show a high diversity which obviously relates to differences in song parameters and to the physics of sound production. Here we describe song and morphology of the sound producing organs of a tropical bush-cricket, Ectomoptera nepicauda, from East Africa. It has a very unusual calling song consisting of frequency-modulated, pure-tone sounds in the high ultrasonic range of 80 to120 kHz and produced by extremely fast wing movements. Concerning morphology, it represents the most extreme state in the degree of left-right fore-wing differentiation found among Orthoptera: the acoustic parts of the left fore-wing consist exclusively of the stridulatory file, comparable in function to the bow of a violin, while the right wing carries only the plectrum ( = string) and mirror ( = soundbox).