Bats and moths have been engaged in aerial warfare for nearly 65 Myr. This arms race has produced a suite of counter-adaptations in moths, including bat-detecting ears. One set of defensive strategies involves the active production of sound; tiger moths’ ultrasonic replies to bat attack have been shown to startle bats, warn the predators of bad taste and jam their biosonar
so reports an article published in the Biology Letters of the Royal Society.
It turns out that there are a number of moth species that have evolved bat-detected ears, in particular Tiger and Hawk Moths. When they detect a bat and think that they have been “pinged” (I got tone!) it can trigger aerobatic evasive behaviours (loops, spirals and dives). Tiger Moths in particular have been shown to also produce anti-bat sonar jamming. All the bats need next is to eject chaff and flares!
That is incredible and so reminiscent of modern military jamming techniques used to disrupt radar. It is amazing (or maybe not?) to think that nature has come up with this millions of years ago. I wonder how many other similar battles to that are going on in the Natural World that we have yet to discover?
Natural Selection providing the ultimate innovation.