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New article in Naturwissenschaften (Natural Sciences), Vol. 93/10

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Subject: New article in Naturwissenschaften (Natural Sciences), Vol. 93/10
From: "Sonja Amoser" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2006 08:47:17 +0200
Jérôme Sueur and Thierry Aubin (2006): When males whistle at females:
complex FM acoustic signals in cockroaches. Naturwissenschaften
[Natural Sciences], Vol. 93 (10), 500-505

Abstract: Male cockroaches of the species Elliptorhina chopardi expel
air through a pair of modified abdominal spiracles during
courtship. This air expulsion simultaneously produces air and
substrate-borne vibrations. We described and compared in details these
two types of vibrations. Our analysis of the air-borne signals shows
that males can produce three categories of signals with distinct
temporal and frequency parameters. "Pure whistles" consist of two
independent harmonic series fast frequency modulated with independent
harmonics that can cross each other. "Noisy whistles" also possess two
independent voices but include a noisy broad-band frequency part in
the middle. Hiss sounds are more noise-like, being made of a
broad-band frequency spectrum. All three call types are unusually high
in dominant frequency (>5 kHz) for cockroaches. The substrate-borne
signals are categorised similarly. Some harmonics of the
substrate-borne signals were filtered out, however, making the
acoustic energy centered on fewer frequency bands. Our analysis shows
that cockroach signals are complex, with fast frequency modulations
and two distinct voices. These results also readdress the question of
what system could potentially receive and decode the information
contained within such complex sounds.

DOI 10.1007/s00114-006-0135-9

Supplementary material is available for this article at and is accessible for
authorized users.


Sonja Amoser

University of Vienna, Dept. of Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology
Sonja Amoser
PhD Student, Research Associate

Althanstrasse 14
1090 Vienna
tel: +43 (1) 4277 54467
fax: +43 (1) 4277 54506
mobile: +43 (664) 500 61 06

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