Winning fights increases aggression, even in crickets

Dec 21, 2011

Winning a fight can raise aggressiveness, and a study of fighting crickets, published Dec. 21 in the online journal PLoS ONE, provides new insight into the biochemical mechanism that may be responsible.

The researchers, led by Paul Stevenson of the University of Leipzig in Germany, staged cricket "tournaments" to investigate the source of the heightened aggression, called the "winner effect", and the potential role of different treatments on this effect.

They found that the increased aggression associated with the winner effect is transient; the aggression levels returned to normal by about 20 minutes post-fight.

They also found that treating the with a chemical called epinastine, which interferes with the invertebrate equivalent of the adrenaline pathway, abolished the winner effect, suggesting that this adrenaline-like system is involved in aggression increase.

Explore further: Early exposure to cat urine makes mice less likely to escape from cats

More information: Rillich J, Stevenson PA (2011) Winning Fights Induces Hyperaggression via the Action of the Biogenic Amine Octopamine in Crickets. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28891. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028891

Related Stories

Recommended for you

The math of shark skin

7 hours ago

"Sharks are almost perfectly evolved animals. We can learn a lot from studying them," says Emory mathematician Alessandro Veneziani.

Seafaring spiders depend on their 'sails' and 'anchors'

12 hours ago

Spiders travel across water like ships, using their legs as sails and their silk as an anchor, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. The study helps explain how sp ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.