Accelerometers |Microphones | nVision | CHARM | Mini Acoustic Chambers | BARS | VibroFibre | ME'scope | Insect Vibration

BBB - Bay Bug Box
(Insect Stimulation & Recording System)

Insects are studied for many reasons including optimisation of their role in plant pollination e.g. Bees and in pest control e.g. Chrysoperla (Lacewing); In particular an understanding of their methods of communication is important if we wish to understand and eventually influence their behaviour.

The BBB enables researchers study the low frequency vibrations that some insects use. The BBB will stimulate a specimen insect using a recorded vibration or sound and then allow the researcher to record the insects response.

The system comprises: -
• Personal Computer (Windows based) - Typically user supplied
Control system
• Vibration sensing probe
• High gain low noise pre-amplifier
• Power amplifier
• 16 bit precision analogue to digital converter (ADC)
• Loudspeaker
Software system
• Control excitation through the loudspeaker
• Acquisition of the vibration
• analyse the signals

Time History recording of the Chrysoperla (Lacewing); this particular example was recorded by our customer in India within a few days of receiving their first BBB.
The frequency of these signals is extremely low; typically between 30 – 125Hz. The amplitude is also very low as the insect is small it has limited capability to generate noise and or vibrations at these low frequencies. The “sound” when played through a loudspeaker will only be audible when amplified by 100+ times i.e. 40dB. The sound when the insect e.g. a Lacewing is on a leaf or in our laboratory “studio” will be inaudible.
The wavelet analysis is particularly
well suited to the analysis of
the lacewing “songs” the ability
to capture both the instantaneous
frequency and its amplitude
allows the underlying modulations
to be easily identified.
The time axis is horizontal i.e.
the X axis.
The Frequency axis is the Y axis
and the intensity or level of the
vibration/sound is the degree of
colour; blue is low and red is
high level.
Sample recording of a Lace Wing made with the BBB (.wav) BugBox Manual (.pdf)