Sound propagation, attenuation and animal communication [abstract]

Margaret Walby (2002). Sound propagation, attenuation and animal communication [abstract]. Bioacoustics, Volume 13 (2): 190 -191

The transmission of high frequency sound through the environment has been studied using continuous and pulsed sound. The bush cricket Leptophyes punctatissima is able to communicate very successfully at ultrasonic frequencies, hence it is a significant biological model to use. Measurements of attenuation were made using a signal broadcast over reflecting and absorbing surfaces and over a pre-calibrated series of glasspapers, artificial surfaces for which there are also S.E.M. images available. Measurements of sound radiation around a singing insect suggest that leaf angle influences the reflection of sound at 40 kHz. It may be possible to identify potential acoustical effects that have enabled Leptophyes punctatissima to communicate so effectively at this high frequency, though it may also be the case that the insect's own size and shape have also determined the use of this particular frequency.