Glossary beginning with P

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pars stridens

The file portion of the stridulatory device. The plectrum is moved along the file to produce sound.

partes stridentes

see pars stridens 


Term propsed by Beer et al 1899 [1] to replace hearing to "eliminate from the study of invertebrate behaviour all reference to human experience" [2].

"This proposal largely failed of its object. On the one hand, it was ignored by the majority of naturalists and morphologists. On the other, where it was adopted by the experimentalists, they often took over the new terms, but used them merelyassynonymsfor the old. The languagewas new, but the meaning was the same, and the core of the problem remained untouched. This problem, restated with reference to the subject of this review, is briefly the problem of defining the nature of the evidence which will justify the attribution of a sense of hearing to animals which differ radically from man in their organization and into whose 'minds', if such exist, we have in the nature of things no opportunity of seeing." [2]

"It has in no way cleared up the muddle which inevitably arises when a human observer endeavours to distinguish between phonic and tactile senses in an animal on the basis of his own sensory experience.This confusion is apparent right through the literature up to the present time." [2]



"Directional movement in response to sound." [1]



"The taxonomy of animals as indicated by the sounds they produce." [1]



See Echeme


Part of the stridulatory apparatus that is moved along the file (pars stridens) to produce a sound.

"A scraper on the fore wing of a bush-cricket, true cricket or mole-cricket, which is rubbed againbst a file on the other ofre wing during singing. [1]


polar plot

"A diagram drawin in polar coordinates to show the contours of equal energy surrounding either an emitter or reciever. Used, for example, to illustrate directionality of acoustic receptors." [1]


power spectrum

"Any complex waveform is composed of discrete sine waves in harmonic series. Fourier analysis is one method of analysing a sound to provide such a series, and a power spectrum is the result of such an analysis where the energy ine ach of teh harmonic components is usually displayed graphically." [1]



"A unitary sound normally produced bya  single movement of the sound-producing apparatus. It may be monocyclic, as in the osund produced by the wing of some Drosophila species, or polycyclic as in the closing stridulatory wing stroke of crickets." [1]


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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith