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Open Life Sciences

formerly Central European Journal of Biology

Editor-in-Chief: Ratajczak, Mariusz

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Palomena prasina (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) vibratory signals and their tuning with plant substrates

1188National Institute of Biology, SI-1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia

2188Fondazione Edmund Mach, IT-38010, S. Michele all’Adige, Italy

© 2013 Versita Warsaw. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Open Life Sciences. Volume 8, Issue 7, Pages 670–680, ISSN (Online) 2391-5412, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11535-013-0188-z, April 2013

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Palomena prasina is interesting for the study of vibrational communication within the Pentatomid subfamily Pentatominae, because its host range is limited to woody plants, unlike the better known Nezara viridula, whose vibrational communication is commonly used as a model for the whole family. The vibrational repertoire of P. prasina was described several decades ago and is redescribed in this paper using modern methods for non-contact vibration recording. Additionally, we hypothesized that this species has retained the capacity for signal frequency variation necessary for tuning to resonance properties of various host plants of Pentatominae, but if the signals are emited in the absence of mechanical feedback, they are tuned more specifically to their native acoustic environment — woody plants. By recording live bugs signalling on different substrates and comparing spectral properties of their signals among substrates, we found that there is a match between the signals emitted on a woody branch and those emitted on a non-resonant surface, while spectral properties of signals emitted on herbaceous plants differ. Our findings provide evidence in support of the signal tuning hypothesis and shed further light on the crucial role of substrate in vibrational communication of insects.

Keywords: Pentatominae; Vibrational communication; Signal propagation; Frequency characteristics

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