Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 7:30pm
Add to Calendar
Room 101, MCZ, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

Cambridge Entomological Club:Things That Go Thump in the Night

Dr. Daniel R. Howard and Dr. Carrie L. Hall, of the University of New Hampshire, present a talk on communication and vibrational signaling in the New Zealand giant weta, which ranks among the most massive insects in the world.

Communication via substrate-borne vibration is common in many insect groups, with vibration often serving as a secondary or tertiary channel of a multimodal signal. The New Zealand giant weta (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae: Deinacrida) are a group of eleven rare insect species belonging to an endemic genus whose communication systems remains poorly understood. Our field observations of intraspecific interactions in one species, D. rugosa, provided us with preliminary evidence that individuals of this lowland species produce some form of substrate-borne vibrational signal in unknown contexts.

Here we present specific findings from behavioral trials with D. rugosa that identified: 1) the acoustic structure of vibrational signals, 2) the biomechanics of signal production, and 3) the primary social context in which vibrational signals are produced, and allowed us to infer the function of vibrational signaling in the species. We then compare these findings with subsequent research on the alpine-dwelling D. connectens and the arboreal D. mahoenui.

The talk is free and open to the public. The meeting is readily accessible via public transportation. Parking is available in the Oxford Street Garage with advance arrangement, as described here, or (usually but not always) at spaces on nearby streets. Everyone is also welcome to join us for dinner before the talk (beginning at 5:45 PM) at the Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Contact Name: 

Rachel Hawkins

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

Connect with us

Follow HUCE to stay updated on energy and the environment at Harvard and beyond.

Subscribe to our mailing list