1. Sound production in the mole crickets Gryllotalpa vineae and G. gryllotalpa is compared with that in Gryllus campestris.
2. In all species action of the plectrum of the left forewing on the file or pars stridens of the right wing causes the harp areas of both wings to vibrate in phase with each other. As the lateral and dorsal fields of the wing are coupled flexibly, the dorsal field resonates freely.
3. The available muscular power of G. vineae is about 3.5 mW., of G. gryllotalpa about 1 mW., and of Gryllus about 1.2 mW. The mesothoracic musculature of Gryllotalpa is fairly similar to that of Gryllus.
4. The calling song of G. vineae has a fundamental frequency of 3.5 kHz, a pulse length of 8 msec. and a pulse interval of 14 msec. at 16° C. The song is very pure with a second harmonic of -26 dB. Simulations of the song made with modulated oscillators are of similar purity; the song can be regarded as a modulated pure note.
5. The sound distribution has been measured, and from the area of an isobar plot and calculation of the mean power of each pulse, the total mean sound power output is 1.2 mW. and the peak power 3 mW. The efficiency of conversion of muscular to acoustic power is about 35%.
6. G. vineae builds a double-mouthed horn-shaped burrow for singing. This contains a bulb which probably tunes the horn to act as a resistive load to the vibrating wings. The double mouths act as a line source with directional properties which concentrate the sound in a disk above the length of the burrow.
7. The probable advantage of a directed sound output in attracting mates is considered; the disk-shaped pattern will be better than a hemispherical pattern of similar power.
8. G. gryllotalpa also builds a horn, but this is larger than that of G. vineae and the song frequency is far lower, at 1.6 kHz. Although the sound power is far lower, about 2.5x10-5W., the horn appears to act as a resistive load to the wings.
9. Gryllus produces only about 6x10-5W. at 30° C. This is attributed to the small size and hence low radiation resistance of the wings.
10. Estimates are made of inertial losses that occur in sound production and these are shown to account for a substantial part of the mechanical power in the systems of both G. vineae and Gryllus.
The field work of this project was performed at Le Station Biologique, Les Eyzies, 24 Dordogne, France.