Mimicry is one of the most fascinating phenomena in nature1. Mimicry traits often reflect complex, finely tuned, and sometimes extravagant relationships among species and have evolved to deceive predators or prey. Indeed, mimicry has most often evolved to discourage predation: the 'mimic' exhibits phenotypic convergence towards a non-related 'model' organism which is inedible or harmful, so that a given predator, or 'receiver', will refrain from attacking or ingesting the mimic. Traditionally, mimicry is mainly evident and has been mainly studied in the visual domain. Here, we report experiments that document the first case of interspecific acoustic mimicry in a mammal and demonstrate that the distress calls the greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) broadcasts when handled imitate sounds of stinging bees or wasps to discourage the bat's avian predators.

Bats mimic hymenopteran insect sounds to deter predators

Ancillotto, Leonardo;Russo, Danilo
2022

Abstract

Mimicry is one of the most fascinating phenomena in nature1. Mimicry traits often reflect complex, finely tuned, and sometimes extravagant relationships among species and have evolved to deceive predators or prey. Indeed, mimicry has most often evolved to discourage predation: the 'mimic' exhibits phenotypic convergence towards a non-related 'model' organism which is inedible or harmful, so that a given predator, or 'receiver', will refrain from attacking or ingesting the mimic. Traditionally, mimicry is mainly evident and has been mainly studied in the visual domain. Here, we report experiments that document the first case of interspecific acoustic mimicry in a mammal and demonstrate that the distress calls the greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) broadcasts when handled imitate sounds of stinging bees or wasps to discourage the bat's avian predators.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/889555
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