Variation and repeatability of ultrasonic sexual advertisement signals in Achroia grisella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

Yikweon Jang, Robert D. Collins, Michael D. Greenfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Male Achroia grisella (Lepidoptera: Pyrulidae) produce ultrasonic advertisement signals for pair formation. The signals are generated by wing-fanning and consist of pairs of approximately 100-μs pulses of 70- to 130-kHz sound. In a previous study, playback experiments showed that female A. grisella preferred signals whose pulses were louder, longer, and delivered at a higher rate and included longer silent (asynchrony) intervals within pairs. To understand the variation and repeatability of these signal characters, acoustic signals of 18 A. grisella males were recorded twice daily on the first 4 days and the seventh day after adult eclosion. ANOVA and MANOVA revealed significant among-individual and among-age variation for all signal characters. Peak amplitude, average amplitude, rate, and pulse length peaked 2-3 days after eclosion and then decreased. Asynchrony interval, however, continued to increase as males aged. Repeatabilities of peak amplitude, average amplitude, rate, and asynchrony interval were all relatively high (>0.5).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank Dr. Gunther Schlager for statistical analysis, Dr. Andrew Snedden for helpful comments, and Dr. Hayward Spangler for providing moths. The work was supported financially by grants from the University of Kansas General Research Fund and the U.S. National Science Foundation (IBN 91-96177).


  • Achroia grisella
  • Repeatability
  • Sexual advertisement signal
  • Signal variation


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