Translating Insect Defense Signals into Sound

Sawfly larvae protect themselves by secreting cocktails of unpleasant, volatile chemicals intended to repel predators, particularly ants. Researchers can assess the effectiveness of these defense by staging meetups, so-called bioassays, between prey and predator. But entomologist Jean-Luc Boevé and informatics engineer Rudi Giot have taken a different approach, translating the secretions' chemical composition into sounds, and measuring how humans react.