A description of defensive hiss types in the Flat Horned Hissing Cockroach (Aeluropoda insignis)

Elliot Hunsinger, Holly Root-Gutteridge, Dana A. Cusano & Susan E. Parks (2018). A description of defensive hiss types in the Flat Horned Hissing Cockroach (Aeluropoda insignis). Bioacoustics, Volume 27 (3): 261 -271

Acoustic communication can inform studies of behaviour and phylogeny in insect species. Despite there being 4600 described species of cockroach, few studies have focused on their ability to communicate acoustically. Cockroaches have been found to produce sound in a variety of ways. Species within the tribe Gromphadorhini produce sound through modified spiracles, often referred to as hisses. Sound parameters have been described for the species Gromphadorhina portentosa and Elliptorhina chopardi. Aeluropoda insignis, within the same tribe, produces sound and is morphologically similar to these two species, but no research has been published describing its acoustic signals. Our study explores the defensive acoustic signals of this species and indicates that A. insignis is capable of producing three classes of acoustic signals (whistles, whistle–hisses and hisses) associated with defensive behaviour. Sexes differed in the entropy and the frequency of their signals, with males producing signals with lower entropy and at higher frequency than females. Future studies on acoustic communication within Blattodea could give more insight into the complexity of signals and their relationship to behavioural context.


Gromphadorhini, acoustic communication, Blattodea