Information in sonar echoes of fluttering insects available for echolocating bats


Material Information

Information in sonar echoes of fluttering insects available for echolocating bats
Series Title:
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Kober, Rudolf
Schnitzler, Hans‐Ulrich
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Sonar Echoes ( local )
Echo Sound‐Pressure Levels ( local )
Echolocating Bats ( local )
Insects ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Insects were mounted in the acoustical beam of an ultrasonicloudspeaker transmitting either an 80‐kHz continuous constant frequency (CF) tone or a short frequency‐modulated (FM) signal (82–18 kHz). The returning CF or FM echoes were recorded and analyzed. Short amplitude peaks or amplitude glints, which occur in the echo in the rhythm of the wing beat, are produced each time some part of the wing surface moves into a plane perpendicular to the impinging sound waves. The amplitude glints are represented in spectrograms of echoes as transitory spectral broadenings or frequency glints. In CF echoes, the composition of positive and negative frequency shifts associated with glints encode the attitude of the flying insect relative to the sound source independent of the insect species. Further information in CF echoes allows a classification of insects as to wing beat frequency, wing structure, wing beat type, wing length, and insect size. Only the wing beat rate of a fluttering insect could be decoded from FM echoes of sounds delivered at fixed duration and repetition rate toward a beetle. The information in the insect echoes described here explains much of the performance of bats concerning their ability to identify insects in behavioral experiments. Whether bats are able to classify insects in the field is discussed. The data from this study allow the computation of the maximum echo sound‐pressure levels for insects.
Original Version:
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 87, no. 882 (1998-06-04).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.