In the evolutionary arms race between predator and prey, bees and wasps (i.e. hymenopterans) have evolved active defence mechanisms: they can painfully sting and bite. Clearwing moths have evolved to resemble wasps and bees in a phenomenon called Batesian mimicry. For years it was known that these day-flying moths look like hymenopterans, but only recently has it been demonstrated that they imitate bees’ and wasps’ behaviour in the way they fly and also… in the sounds their model insects produce. Dr Marta Skowron Volponi along with Paolo Volponi registered sounds produced in flight by clearwing moths and bees in Southeast Asian rainforests and, in collaboration with prof. Francesca Barbero and dr Luca Casacci from the University of Turin, proved that the moths buzz like bees they morphologically resemble.

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