Study: Female crickets steered by sound

Oct 11, 2005

Cambridge University scientists in England say female crickets react to, and make steering corrections toward, the sound pattern in a male cricket's song.

James Poulet and Berthold Hedwig recorded the walking speed and direction of female crickets placed atop a trackball while a mixture of non-attractive sound pulses and male cricket songs were played. When the females heard the distinctive sound of the male's song, they immediately changed direction and sped up toward the sound.

Non-attractive sounds caused only very weak responses, but when such sounds were inserted into the male's songs, the females changed direction and also steered toward them.

The scientists observed that while listening to the male's song, the females walked to any pattern, but without the male song, they slowed their walking.

The researchers conclude movement in response to external signals by crickets may represent a general strategy in the evolution of insect behavior. As a consequence, in crickets the endpoint of the walking path may not be calculated in advance, but may continually be adjusted as the song input changes.

The study is detailed in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: And now the Acropolis is crumbling...

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

There's more than one way to silence a cricket

May 29, 2014

For most of us, crickets are probably most recognizable by the distinctive chirping sounds males make with their wings to lure females. But some crickets living on the islands of Hawaii have effectively lost ...

Courtship in the cricket world

Apr 30, 2012

Everyone wants to present themselves in the best light - especially when it comes to finding a partner. Some rely on supplying honest information about their attributes while others exaggerate for good effect. A new study ...

Fossil cricket: Jurassic love song reconstructed

Feb 06, 2012

Some 165 million years ago, the world was host to a diversity of sounds. Primitive bushcrickets and croaking amphibians were among the first animals to produce loud sounds by stridulation (rubbing certain ...

Recommended for you

And now the Acropolis is crumbling...

43 minutes ago

Just when Greece thought it had come through the worst of the crisis it was hit by a new blow Wednesday—the Acropolis is crumbling.

Power can corrupt even the honest

7 hours ago

When appointing a new leader, selectors base their choice on several factors and typically look for leaders with desirable characteristics such as honesty and trustworthiness. However once leaders are in power, can we trust ...

Learning at 10 degrees north

8 hours ago

Secluded beaches, calypso music and the entertaining carnival are often what come to mind when thinking of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. But Dal Earth Sciences students might first consider Trinidad's ...

How to find the knowns and unknowns in any research

9 hours ago

Have you ever felt overloaded by information? Ever wondered how to make sense of claims and counter-claims about a topic? With so much information out there on many different issues, how is a person new to ...

User comments : 0