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About Phonotaxis


Phonotaxis is observed during the evening or in the monsoon season might sound random or even annoying.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

About Phonotaxis:

  • Scientists refer to phonotaxis as the movement by an animal in response to a sound.
  • This behavior has been observed in various creatures including crickets, moths, frogs, toads, and a few others.
  • There are two types of phonotaxis:
    • Positive Phonotaxis: This type is associated with attraction. It occurs when the females of certain species, like crickets and frogs, are drawn to the sounds produced by males of their species.
    • Negative Phonotaxis: This type serves as a repellant or warning. It happens when the sound of a nearby predator signals to an animal that it should move away. For instance, crickets have been found to steer themselves away from low-intensity ultrasound, often associated with bats that use it for echolocation.
  • In 1984, scientists discovered that Mediterranean house geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus) utilize positive phonotaxis to their advantage.
  • The fields inhabited by these geckos were also home to male decorated crickets (Gryllodes supplicans), which used species-specific sounds to attract the females from their burrows.
  • The geckos recognized and followed this call until they reached the burrow, where they consumed the female crickets.

-Source: The Hindu

July 2024