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: Bad reputation of crows demystified

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Bad reputation of crows demystified

Jan 23, 2015

In literature, crows and ravens arebad omens and are associated with witches. Most people believe they steal, eat other birds' eggs and reduce the populations of other birds. But a new study, which has brought ...

How gerbils orient in the light of the setting sun

Jan 23, 2015

A light brown remains light brown: For gerbils, the fur color of their conspecifics appears identical under different lighting conditions. The ability of color constancy in rodents has been demonstrated for ...

Snack attack: Bears munch on ants and help plants grow

Jan 22, 2015

Tiny ants may seem like an odd food source for black bears, but the protein-packed bugs are a major part of some bears' diets and a crucial part of the food web that not only affects other bugs, but plants too.

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.