What is Phonotaxis?

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What is Phonotaxis? Blog Image


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

About Phonotaxis:

  • Scientists call phonotaxis the movement by an animal in response to a sound.
  • It has mostly been observed among crickets, moths, frogs, and toads, among a few other creatures.
  • There are two types of phonotaxis
  • Positive phonotaxis: The purpose of positive phonotaxis is attraction. It usually happens when the females of a particular species – including those of crickets and frogs – are attracted to the sounds made by the males.
  • Negative phonotaxis: It serves to repel or warn, such as when the sound of a predator nearby signals to an animal that it needs to move away. Crickets in particular have been found to steer themselves away from low-intensity ultrasound typically associated with bats (which use it for echolocation).
  • In 1984, scientists found that Mediterranean house geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus) use positive phonotaxis to their advantage.
  • The fields that these geckos inhabited were also home to male decorated crickets (Gryllodes supplicans), which used species-specific sounds to attract the females from their burrows.
  • The geckos recognised and followed this call until they reached the burrow, where they consumed the female crickets.

Q1:What is a Mediterranean house gecko?

It is a small lizard species native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. However, due to its adaptability and the introduction of the species to various other parts of the world.

Source: Phonotaxis: First sound, then motion