Document Detail

Directional cues in Drosophila melanogaster audition: structure of acoustic flow and inter-antennal velocity differences.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22723479     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Drosophila melanogaster have bilateral antisymmetric antennae that receive the particle velocity component of an acoustic stimulus. Acoustic communication is important in their courtship, which takes place in the acoustic near-field. Here, the small size of the dipole sound source (the male wing) and the rapid attenuation rate of particle velocity produce a spatially divergent sound field with highly variable magnitude. Also, male and female D. melanogaster are not usually stationary during courtship, resulting in a variable directionality of the acoustic stimulus. Using both particle image velocimetry and laser Doppler vibrometry, we examined the stimulus flow around the head of D. melanogaster to identify the actual geometry of the acoustic input to the antennae and its directional response. We reveal that the stimulus changes in both magnitude and direction as a function of its angle of incidence. Remarkably, directionality is substantial, with inter-antennal velocity differences of 25 dB at 140 Hz. For an organism whose auditory receivers are separated by only 660±51 μm (mean ± s.d.), this inter-antennal velocity difference is far greater than differences in intensity observed between tympanal ears for organisms of similar scale. Further, the mechanical sensitivity of the antennae changes as a function of the angle of incidence of the acoustic stimulus, with peak responses along axes at 45 and 315 deg relative to the longitudinal body axis. This work indicates not only that the flies are able to detect differential cues in signal direction, but also that the male song structure may not be the sole determinant of mating success; his spatial positioning is also crucial to female sound reception and therefore also perhaps to her decision making.
Erica L Morley; Thomas Steinmann; Jérôme Casas; Daniel Robert
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  215     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-22     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2405-13     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UG, UK.
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