NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
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Loudoun, Virginia, United States
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Latitude and Longitude 39.1092, -77.5578 Map

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Habitat: Rural. Equipment Notes: Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo. NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions Show: Bug Communication Log of DAT #: 3 ng = not good ok= okay g = good vg = very good Absolute Time 04:39 Terry says time code Clap [with camera: 4:44] [Rolling in sync with TV] *05:37 -AC: Oh, Wow, Ambi of hoppers. Level check. We're sitting in an old farm yard near Leesburg, Virginia, listening to treehoppers. WOW + Ambi. 6:15 [plane] 7:31 RC: This is what I had in mind. I was thinking, we ought to go out in the field and record. Let's wire up a black locust tree, because that's what you get, these incredible signaling interactions. FX: wind AC: And that's wind we're hearing right now, rattling wind, which the insects hear all the time. RC: Yes. So they're on a plant that's shaking back and forth in the wind, it's noisy, and they're communicating in that kind of noisy environment, but then in these breaks in the wind, we hear a little flurry of signals. AC: Have you ever heard them before like this? RC: Well, no, so now we've got this locust tree wired up in stereo, and we're playing the sounds out in the air on a great set of speakers. It's actually really strange because we're playing these sounds out into this little quiet part of the Virginia countryside in a way that begins to almost give an idea of what our environments would sound like if somehow we were able to perceive all these signals traveling through plants, and this is just one plant. So if we somehow had all the plants in our environment wired up, and were playing it we'd hear this incredible cacophony of strange sounds and experience of just walking out and taking a walk down a lane, or in a meadow, would be completely different. [8:59] 9 :00 A C: How much of the other stuff do you think the treehoppers are aware of? Maybe we all just have a little slice of what's there. RC: Certainly, We have a little slice. So they're on one plant, and they're going to hear any sounds traveling through their own plant, but the plants act almost like an ear for them because any sounds traveling through the air will induce vibrations in the plant, so they'll be able to potentially perceive bird songs or cricket songs to them in their environment, but again, they're only perceiving a little slice of things......I sometimes imagine what it would be like to walk outside and have sensors just tuned into everything. You'd be listening to the plants around you, and you'd hear airborne sound, and you'd be seeing signals around and if you were in the tropics by a stream you'd be listening to electric fish signals, and something else on the surface, and you'd be completely overwhelmed [10:19] 10:50 RC: It is especially bizarre to have this playing out here on good speakers and to have this sound, seems almost illegal to have this broadcast in the environment. This is not supposed to happen. AC: Another RADIO EXPEDITIONS first. RC: You should go out into a meadow and hook onto every plant. ... 11: 27 [ambi] so now the wind has stopped. You hear a lot more signals in these breaks between the gusts of wind. Part of it is probably masking by the wind [ambi] RC: so great. At least on a casual level most of these insects seem to be doing most of their signaling during breaks in the wind. 12:00 AC: Can you interpret that what you're hearing now? Ambi RC: All the signals that you are hearing are produced by males. The females also signal, but only probably one or two days in their life. They only signal when ready to mate, and they signal in response to a male's call that they Want to mate with them. But males spend most of their adult life signaling. So we're hearing Purring "bddddddddrrrrrr" sounds are sounds that males give either when two males meet each other when they are mate searching on a branch, or When a male is just... (Notes truncated)

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7 Oct 2009 by Ben Brotman
7 Oct 2009 by Ben Brotman
7 Oct 2009 by Ben Brotman