But Supersonus, a newly identified genus of insect that comprises three recently discovered katydid species, is in a class by itself. All three species produce the animal kingdomâ€™s highest pitched mating call, according to a new study.
The call hits notes of 150 kHz, thanks to a structure in its right wing that vibrates like a drum, acting as a kind of speaker. The calling frequencies used by most katydid species range between 5 kilohertz (kHz) and 30 kHz.
Humans, meanwhile, can only hear up to about 20 kHz.
Discovered in the trees of Colombian and Ecuadoran rain forests, the three kinds of newly discovered katydids have unusually small wingsâ€”theyâ€™re less than a millimeter long. As in consumer electronics, the smaller the speaker, the higher its frequency.
Study leader Fernando Montealegre-Z discovered that the katydid songsâ€™ reach record frequencies by taking high-speed audio of their calls and then slowing down the sound so that they could be heard by humans.