Detailed notes on article" steering responses of flying crickets to sound and ultrasound"

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Andrew Mason

Steering responses of flying crickets to sound and ultrasound Mate attraction and predator avoidanceABSTRACT Q Steering responses of tethered flying adult female crickets to acoustic stimulation A crickets responded directionally to directional sound stimulation by bending their abdomens and hind legs to one side attempt to turn1 Conspecific calling songfrequency 3 9 kHz crickets turned toward the sound source Interpreted as positive phonotactic response of flying females to conspecific males When offered a choice between conspecific song and the song of another species females turned exclusively toward conspecific songresponse is species specific 2 Direction of response dependent onthe carrier freq of the song shows frequency discrimination Females turned toward calling song when it was played at carrier frequencies from 3 9 kHz Females turned awayfrom the same song pattern played at carrier frequencies from 3070kHz negative phonotaxissuggests that crickets can evade bats by acoustic detection INTROAn imp problem in neuroethology concerns the mechanisms by which animals detect and interpret signals produced by other animals Very significantbecause animals must discriminate between potential mates and rivals and predaotrsAcoustically mediated mate attraction is found incrickets Male crickets emit a acoustic signalcalling songthat attracts conspecific females The signal consists of a series of sound pulses of relatively pure carrier frequency arranged in a genetically determined temporal pattern The calling songs of species that overlap in time and space are different in terms of carrier frequency temporal pattern or both Females use these speciesspecific differences to detect conspecific calling song and respond by walking or flying towards that song Most cricks are nocturnally active Are vulnerable to predation by bats Bats locate their prey by emitting ultrasonic signals and monitoring their echoes Some insects can detect these ultrasonic signals and use this info to avoid predation ie moths fly away from lowintensity ultrasoundand perform other evasive manoeuvers In response to higher intensities of ultrasound Green lacewings stop flying and drop to the ground when they detect bat cries These behaviours reduce the likelihood of being capturedWhat is the role of carrier frequency in the phonotactic behaviour of cricksthis paper describes behavior of tethered flying cricks stimulated with their conspecific calling song pattern played at variouscarrier frequencies At frequencies similar to those produced by calling males cricks performed steering movements toward the sound source At higher frequencies such as those produced by hunting bats they steered away from the sound sourceMETHODS Adult virgin female crickets Eavh crick was tethered by the pronotum to a holder and suspended in a wind stream This procedure induced most crick to fly Auditory stimulus electrically synthesized sound pulses with temporal pattern of their own species T oceanicus The cricks are tethered to holder Speakers placed 90 deg to the right and left with respect to longitudinal body axis Peak sound pressure levels aka intensity measured at the position occupied by the cricks
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