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Avoiding Predators 1

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University of Toronto Scarborough

Steering Responses of Flying Crickets to Sound and Ultrasound: Mate Attraction and Predator Avoidance Dangerous Sounds: Avoiding Predators Crickets can evade bats by acoustic detection through negative phonotaxis Direction of response is dependent of carrier frequency of song females turned toward calling song when it was play at carrier frequencies from 3-9kHz but turned away from the same song pattern played at carrier frequencies from 30-70kHz Purpose of Paper: To describe the role of carrier frequency (pitch) in the phonotactic behaviour of crickets At frequencies similar to those produced by calling males, crickets performed steering movements toward the sound source At higher frequencies, such as those produced by hunting bats, they steered away from the sound source A. Steering Behaviour In the absence of acoustic stimulation, most crickets assumed a straight and symmetrical flight posture, with the abdomen and metathoracic legs extended directly backwards When calling song (5kHz) was played on crickets left, its abdominal positioned to the left (turns left) When calling song (40Hz) was played on crickets left, its abdominal positioned to the right (turns right) B. Frequency Sensitivity When the behavioural thresholds of 12 animals were measured over the range from 3kHz to 100kHz, each animal exhibited two sensitivity peaks: o Most sensitive between 4.5 and 5.5kHz in the range between 3-20kHz o Most sensitive between 35-80kHz when above 20kHz
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