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Wu-Jung Lee

Research Associate



Department Affiliation



B.S. Electrical Engineering and Life Sciences, National Taiwan University, 2005

Ph.D. Oceanographic Engineering, Massachusetts Institution of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Applied Ocean Physics and Engineer, 2013


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Can the elongated hindwing tails of fluttering moths serve as false sonar targets to divert bat attacks?

Lee, W.-J., and C.F. Moss, "Can the elongated hindwing tails of fluttering moths serve as false sonar targets to divert bat attacks?" J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 139, 2579-2588, doi:10.1121/1.4947423, 2016.

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1 May 2016

It has long been postulated that the elongated hindwing tails of many saturniid moths have evolved to create false sonar targets to divert the attack of echolocation-guided bat predators. However, rigorous echo-acoustic evidence to support this hypothesis has been lacking. In this study, fluttering luna moths (Actias luna), a species with elongated hindwing tails, were ensonified with frequency modulated chirp signals from all angles of orientation and across the wingbeat cycle. High-speed stereo videography was combined with pulse compressionsonar processing to characterize the echo information available to foraging bats. Contrary to previous suggestions, the results show that the tail echoes are weak and do not dominate the sonar returns, compared to the large, planar wings and the moth body. However, the distinctive twisted morphology of the tails create persistent echoes across all angles of orientation, which may induce erroneous sonar target localization and disrupt accurate tracking by echolocating bats. These findings thus suggest a refinement of the false target hypothesis to emphasize sonar localization errors induced by the twisted tails, and highlight the importance of physics-based approaches to study the sensory information involved in the evolutionary arms race between moths and their bat predators.

Dynamic echo information guides flight in the big brown bat

Warnecke, M., W.-J. Lee, A. Krishna, and C.F. Moss, "Dynamic echo information guides flight in the big brown bat," Front. Behav. Neurosci., 10, doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00081, 2016.

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25 Apr 2016

Animals rely on sensory feedback from their environment to guide locomotion. For instance, visually guided animals use patterns of optic flow to control their velocity and to estimate their distance to objects. In this study, we investigated how acoustic information guides locomotion of animals that use hearing as a primary sensory modality to orient and navigate in the dark, where visual information is unavailable. We studied flight and echolocation behaviors of big brown bats as they flew under infrared illumination through a corridor with walls constructed from a series of individual vertical wooden poles. The spacing between poles on opposite walls of the corridor was experimentally manipulated to create dense/sparse and balanced/imbalanced spatial structure. The bats’ flight trajectories and echolocation signals were recorded with high-speed infrared motion-capture cameras and ultrasound microphones, respectively. As bats flew through the corridor, successive biosonar emissions returned cascades of echoes from the walls of the corridor. The bats flew through the center of the corridor when the pole spacing on opposite walls was balanced and closer to the side with wider pole spacing when opposite walls had an imbalanced density. Moreover, bats produced shorter duration echolocation calls when they flew through corridors with smaller spacing between poles, suggesting that clutter density influences features of the bat’s sonar signals. Flight speed and echolocation call rate did not, however, vary with dense and sparse spacing between the poles forming the corridor walls. Overall, these data demonstrate that bats adapt their flight and echolocation behavior dynamically when flying through acoustically complex environments.

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center