Bug Bytes

The sounds of crickets courting and flies flying familiar to many of us, but have you heard a rice weevil larva eating inside a wheat kernel, a termite cutting a piece of wood, or a grub chewing on a root?  Modern insect detection and control technology makes use of these subtle signals, sampled below.
Most of the sound files on this page were selected from noise-free sections of recorded signal, but you can hear some typical background noises mixed with insect sounds at I below.  The insect sounds have higher frequencies and shorter durations that make them relatively easy to separate from background.
Richard MankinLogo and link: Center for Medical, Agriculture, and Veterinary Entomology, Agriculture Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
Note:  This page contains links to about 70 sound ( .wav files icon or .wav) files, and accompanying information in Link to Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) and slideslide icon files.  Some of the sounds are low in intensity, and it may be necessary to turn up the speaker volume to hear them.  Also, many sound players like to deemphasize low frequencies.  If your player has an equalizer and you can't hear the sounds, turn up the frequencies between 600 and 1500 Hz.

You are herehome > What's New? > sound library

section demarcation line
Coolest Top 5:
(my choice, let me know yours)
Cotesia marginiventris (Braconid parasitoid callinging song)
Bactrocera tyroni (Queensland fruit fly calling song)
Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito)
Solenopsis invicta (Fire ant stridulation)
Drepanotermes (Australian termites, headbanging)

Below: Cornelius Dunmore and Katrina Hutchinson 
performing digital signal analysis of stored product insect pest sounds.
Cornelius Dunmore and Katrina Hutchinson analyzing insect sounds

Subject Index:

A. Stored product insect movement and feeding sounds
B. Movement and feeding sounds of soil invertebrates
C. Defensive stridulation by soil insects (dung beetles)
D. Movement and feeding sounds of insects in wood.  Termite head-banging
E. Movement and feeding sounds of insects in plants
F. Buzzing of fruit flies, butterflies, moths, and mosquitoes
G. Fire ants, phorid flies, and their interactions
H. Cricket, katydid, and cicada sounds
I. Examples to distinguish insect sounds from background noise
More sounds: Iowa State Entomology Index, FindSounds.com
       Species Index:
Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito)
Aedes taeniorynchus (salt marsh mosquito)
Anastrepha suspensa (Caribbean fruit fly)
Anoplophora glabripennis  (Asian longhorned beetle)
Bactrocera tyroni (Queensland fruit fly)
Camponotus denticulatus (Ants in Australian outback)
Cephus cinctus (Wheat stem sawfly)
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly)
Coptotermes formosanus (Formosan termite)
Cotesia marginiventris (Braconid parasitoid)
Cryptotermes or Incisitermes (Drywood termites)
Diaprepes abbreviatus (Diaprepes root weevil)
Drepanotermes (Australian termites)
Euzophera magnolialis (Magnolia root borer)
Ensifera (Crickets and katydids)
Geotrupes egeriei (Dung beetle) defensive stridulation
Heliconius cydno alithea (Heliconid butterfly)
Lumbricidae (Earthworm)
Magicacada spp. (Cicada)
Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Black vine weevil)
Peltotrupes profundus (Dung beetle) defensive stridulation
Phyllophaga (White grub)
Plodia interpunctella (Indian meal moth) adults and larvae
Polyphylla spp. (June beetle)
Pseudacteon tricuspis (Phorid flies)
Reticulitermes flavipes (Eastern subterranean termite) and related spp.
Reticulitermes virginicus (termite)
Scapteriscus vicinus (Mole cricket)
Sitophilus oryzae (Rice weevil)
Solenopsis invicta (Fire ant)

section demarcation line

A.  Stored Product Insect movement and feeding sounds recorded for insect detection and monitoring studies:
(the sound quality differences that you hear are caused by differences in the spectral ranges of the sensors).

A.1. link to dfaccs11.wavPlodia interpunctella larvae in dry dog food [1147 kb, 30 s] recorded with Bruel and Kjaer accelerometer.
A.2. link to piezimm1.wav Individual Plodia interpunctella larva in dry dog food [489 kb, 10 s] recorded with piezoelectric disk sensor.
A.3. link to pvdfrw1.wavSitophilus oryzae larvae (17-18 d old) in wheat kernels [489 kb, 10 s] recorded with PVDF film sensor.
A.4. link to accelrw.wavSitophilus oryzae larvae (16-17 d old) in wheat kernels [489 kb, 10 s] recorded with Bruel and Kjaer accelerometer.
A.5. link to w40khzrw1.wavSitophilus oryzae larvae (16-17 d old) in wheat kernels [489 kb, 10 s] recorded with 40 kHz ultrasonic sensor.
A.6. link to w30khzrw1.wavSitophilus oryzae larvae (17-18 d old) in wheat kernels [977 kb, 10 s] recorded with 30 kHz ultrasonic sensor.
A.7. link to piezorw1.wavSitophilus oryzae larvae (16-17 d old) in wheat kernels [977 kb, 10 s] recorded with piezoelectric disk sensor.
B.  Movement and feeding sounds of soil invertebrates: C.  Defensive stridulation of soil insects (dung beetles):
Note:  For information about dung beetles, seeVulinec, K. 2000. Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), monkeys, and conservation in amazonia.  Fla. Entomol. 83:229-241. Link to http://www.fcla.edu/FlaEnt/fe83p229.pdf
D.  Movement and feeding sounds of insects in wood:
link to termitessrrcoakaed.wavCompare with a second recording from the same tree by John Rodgers using an AED-2000 insect detection system, filtering out low-frequency noise. [227 kB, 10 s].
D.7. link to trk11-1.wav   Drepanotermes termite head-banging with interspersed (higher frequency) ticks produced by attacking Camponotus denticulatus ants,
                       recorded with geophone from termite mound near Alice Springs, Australia  [1.03 mB, 11 s].
E.  Movement and feeding sounds of insects in plants: F. Wing vibration sounds recorded in insect communication studies:
F.1a.link to mosquito.wav  Aedes taeniorynchus (salt marsh mosquito) male mosquito swarm at Rookery Bay, FL[489 kb, 9.8 sec]
[Note:  There is a female mosquito buzzing in the foreground, and the higher-pitched sound of the male swarm is in the background.]
 Information about Aedes taeniorynchus swarms is given in: Mankin (1994)  link to J. Am. Mosq. 1994, 10:302  [1,609 kB]
F.1c. link to aedalbomale23.wav Aedes albopictus  (Asian tiger mosquito) male in flight. 
recorded by Everett Foreman with Bruel and Kjaer microphone  [489 kB, 9.8 s]

F.2. link to cffcall2.wavAnastrepha suspensa (Caribbean fruit fly) adult male calling song recorded with Bruel and Kjaer microphone. [489 kb, 9.8 s]

F.3 . link to qf241103-seg130s.wav Bactrocera tyroni (Queensland fruit fly) adult male calling song
recorded with Phil Taylor at Macquarie University, Sydney Australia [1694 kB, 19.6 s]
Information about fruit fly calling songs is given in Mankin et al. (2000). .pdf icon [164 kB] See also Mankin et al. (1996)   link to Fruit Fly Pests, 1996,  pp. 37-41 [1,174 kB]
See   Link to ec97p1299.pdf  Mankin et al. (2004).
F.4c. link to 1021-1i.wavCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly) adult male flight near microphone (Bruel and Kjaer)
recorded by Everett Foreman [489 kB, 9.8 s]

F.4d. link to sound19.wavCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly) adult female flight near microphone (Bruel and Kjaer)
recorded by Everett Foreman [489 kB, 9.8 s]

F.5. link to cmargforrmankinjan202004mono.wav Cotesia marginiventris  (braconid parasitoid) male calling song (Courtesy of John Sivinski)  [1672 kB, 53 s]
See   Link to hayroe-jinsbeh-17.pdf (Hay-Roe and Mankin, 2004).
F.6b.    link to hel 233bw.wav  Another series of wing clicks from another adult H. cydno. [321kB, kB, 6s]
G. Fire ants moving and stridulating, phorid flies, and their interaction:
Note: for other stridulatory sounds, visit the National Center for Physical Acoustics insect sounds web site.  See also Hickling et al. (2000), Hickling and Brown (2001)Roces and Tautz (2001)
G.1a. link to 116a3ant.wavGeneral movement and stridulation sounds [977 kB, 10 s]
recorded by James Anderson with Bruel and Kjaer microphone in a small colony of Solenopsis invicta. (Fire ants courtesy of Lloyd Davis).
G.1b. link to fireants_shortclip.wavGeneral movement and stridulation sounds recorded with accelerometer from fire ants under citrus trees in Ft. Pierce citrus grove  [549 kB, 11 s]. see   Link to fshs03p304.pdf  Mankin and Lapointe (2003)

 G.2.  link to 116b9fly.wavFlight sounds of Pseudacteon tricuspis hovering over fire ants [977 kB, 10 s].
(See F.1 and  http://cmave.usda.ufl.edu/~ifahi/sdporter.html).  (Phorid flies courtesy of Sanford Porter and Lloyd Davis).
G.3.  link to 116b6flyant.wavPseudacteon tricuspis Phorid flies hovering over stridulating fire ants. (See F.1) [977 kB, 10 s].
H. Crickets, katydids, and cicadas:
H.1. Tom Walker's "Singing Insects" Web Site
H.2. Kazuyuki Hashimoto's "Insect Sound World" Web Site
H.3. Magicicada Web Site
I. Examples to distinguish insect sounds from background noise:
Not all extraneous sounds can be distinguished from insects as easily as in I.1-I7 below, but the human ear can be trained to distinguish the typical clicking and slipping noises of subterranean insects from the drones of machinery or incidental wind noise.  Here are some examples you can try for yourself.
I.1. link to planeau1.wavInsect sounds mixed with plane noise, recorded from underground microphone in a field at Auburn, AL.   [1.4kB, 30 s]
This lively site contained 6 tenebrionids, 2 millipedes, 2 earthworms, 1 wireworm, 1 armyworm, a mature cydnid, and an immature cydnid.  (Recorded by Jamie Brandhorst-Hubbard with a soil microphone).  For reference, see link to J. Econ. Entomol. 93: 1173-1182  [172 kB].
I.2. link to planeau2.wavInsect sounds mixed with plane noise, shorter segment of I.1. [733 kB ,15 s]
I.3. link to monrbck1.wavPlane noise recorded with accelerometer on nail inside a pot at the Monrovia nursery, Dayton, OR. [733 kB, 15 s]
(For reference see black vine weevil sounds).
I.4. link to monrbck2.wavPlane and truck noise at commercial nursery.  (See I.3). [733 kB, 15 s]
I.5. link to monrbck3.wavTruck noise recorded in a pot containing black vine weevil larvae.  (See I.3). [733 kB, 15 s]
I.6. link to nwrec1.wavWind noise and background
recorded from an accelerometer on a nail inserted into a field at Oregon State University.  (see I.3). [733 kB, 15 s]
I.7. link to dmnurs1.wavWind noise and background
recorded from an accelerometer on nail inside a pot containing black vine weevil larvae.  (see I.3). [733 kB, 15 s]
section demarcation line
You are herehome > interests > sound library

10/24/05 Richard Mankin

Eric Kaufmann (signal collection, graphics, .wav files)
Everett Foreman (signal collection, .wav files)
Mirian Hay-Roe
Jamee Brandhorst-Hubbard
Betty Weaver (signal collection)
Minling Zhang