Research ArticleECOLOGY

Fireflies thwart bat attack with multisensory warnings

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Science Advances  22 Aug 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 8, eaat6601
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat6601
  • Fig. 1 Bats learn to avoid unisensory and multisensory firefly warnings.

    (A) Probability that bats capture firefly treatments and control prey over successive nights. Line, mean; shading, 95% CI. (B) Comparisons of avoidance learning between prey types (depicted as silhouettes on right; scarab beetle silhouette represents pooled scarab beetle and pyralid moth control data). Bats learn to avoid all firefly treatments. Avoidance learning is defined here as a slope less than zero in comparisons of firefly treatments and scarab controls. For comparisons of firefly treatments, negative values indicate faster avoidance learning of prey shown on left. There is no difference in learning rates between unisensory (tethered versus darkened) treatments. Intact fireflies emitting multisensory warnings induce faster avoidance learning compared to either unisensory treatment. Circle, median; thick line, 68% CI (which is ±1 SD under a normal distribution); thin line, 95% CI.

  • Fig. 2 Bat sonar behavior.

    (A) The duration of bats’ final echolocation phase (buzz II) presented against successive nights of interactions with different firefly treatments. Line, mean; shading, 95% CI. (B) Between-prey comparisons of changes in buzz II durations. Lower values indicate greater reduction of buzz duration over time for prey on left. Compared with the control, bats reduced their buzz II duration as they learned to avoid intact fireflies. Interactions with darkened or tethered fireflies did not affect buzz II durations. (C) Example spectrograms of echolocation behavior during the last night of interactions with each firefly treatment. Bats entered buzz II during interactions with tethered and darkened fireflies, but not for interactions with intact firefly. Each spectrogram depicts the final 1 s of an interaction. Pseudocoloration illustrates intensity gradients within a single spectrogram but is not standardized across spectrograms.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/4/8/eaat6601/DC1

    Fig. S1. Comparisons of the change in buzz I duration between firefly treatments and control scarab beetles.

    Movie S1. Firefly palatability.

    Movie S2. Firefly avoidance.

    Table S1. Change in probability of capture over time for each prey type and between-prey differences of these changes.

    Table S2. Change in duration of buzz II over time for each prey type and between-prey differences of these changes.

    Table S3. Change in duration of buzz I over time for each prey type and between-prey differences of these changes.

    Data S1. Raw data of bat capture and echolocation behavior; prey palatability and wingbeat rate.

  • Supplementary Materials

    The PDF file includes:

    • Fig. S1. Comparisons of the change in buzz I duration between firefly treatments and control scarab beetles.
    • Legends for movies S1 and S2
    • Legends for tables S1 to S3
    • Legend for data S1

    Download PDF

    Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

    • Movie S1 (.mov format). Firefly palatability.
    • Movie S2 (.mov format). Firefly avoidance.
    • Table S1 (Microsoft Excel format). Change in probability of capture over time for each prey type and between-prey differences of these changes.
    • Table S2 (Microsoft Excel format). Change in duration of buzz II over time for each prey type and between-prey differences of these changes.
    • Table S3 (Microsoft Excel format). Change in duration of buzz I over time for each prey type and between-prey differences of these changes.
    • Data S1 (Microsoft Excel format). Raw data of bat capture and echolocation behavior; prey palatability and wingbeat rate.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

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