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: Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

2 hours ago

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

5 hours ago

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

6 hours ago

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

6 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...