Vibrational signalling in a Gondwanan relict insect (Hemiptera : Coleorrhyncha : Peloridiidae)
- Biology letters 期刊
- Ancient, long-extinct floras and faunas can be reassembled through fossils and phylogenetics, and even palaeo-environments can be reconstructed with the aid of palaeoclimatology. However, very little is known about the sound-scape of the past. Of what kind were the first biologically meaningful sounds and vibrations ever emitted and perceived? The earliest signals in the history of life were probably produced by arthropods making use of the mechanical properties of their exoskeleton. Here, we report an observation of vibrational signalling in the coleorrhynchan Hackeriella veitchi, a representative of a Gondwanan relict insect lineage which is still extant in the Queensland rainforest. Our finding suggests that vibrational signalling by tymbal organs is ancestral for the Hemiptera (exclusive of Sternorrhyncha)--the song of the Coleorrhyncha was a likely element of the acoustic environment in the Permian moss forests and had possibly changed little since.