Bats have one of the most sophisticated echolocation, or sonar, systems on the planet. In many ways bats have exceeded even human sonar and radar systems. Among other things, bats use sonar to find and track their insect prey. 


My principle research findings have been that moths jam bat echolocation as a defense and that bats jam each other's echolocation while competing for food.


Moth Jamming. The idea that moth clicks are akin to the advanced military technology of radar jamming has been around since the mid 1960s. However, this was not confirmed until our paper, published in Science in 2009. Read more about moth jamming.



Bat Jamming. To compete with each other insects bats have evolved specialized jamming signals that they deploy moments before another bat is about to capture a moth. Bats duel back and forth with jamming signals until one of them give up. Read more about bat jamming.

 

Grote's tiger moth, Bertholdia trigona (above) is the only animal in the world known to jam the sonar of it's predator. Mexican free-tailed bats (below) are the only echolocating animals known to jam echolocation