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Bio Lab Formal Report - Aggression and Conflict Rates in...

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Aggression and Conflict Rates in Acheta domesticus with the Presence of Food Nabeel Siddiqui Bio 206, Spring 2010 49530, Van Der Ende April 28, 2010 Aggression and Conflict Rates in Acheta domesticus with the Presence of Food Page | 1
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Abstract: Aggression between two crickets is a fundamental process that resolves the contest between the two over resources. Fighting serves as an assessment between the two crickets and displays dominance. Aggression in Acheta domesticus was observed in an experimental set up which observed the conflict rates of two crickets of the same size and weight. This aggression was first observed in a controlled environment where there were no competitive resources present. The two crickets were placed in a clear plastic container with soil on the bottom. Ten trials were conducted in two minute intervals and the number of hits per trial was recorded. The trials were repeated with the presence of food in the container. The data from the two sets of trials was compared and analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. This test showed that the difference in the number of hits in the control trials compared to the number of hits in the experimental trials was statistically significant. It also showed that there was an increase in conflict rates when food was added into the container. This was in agreement with the game theory model which predicted that an increase in aggression is expected when a competitive resource in introduced. Introduction: Page | 2
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Fighting behavior in male crickets has been an extensively studied subject throughout the scientific community. Cricket aggression serves as a good model for observation and analysis of animal behavior in situations where dominance, territorial marking and female competition are in question. Aggressive interactions between crickets may be attributed towards resource holding power in individuals. According to the game theoretical models, the assessment of fighting between two crickets is a fundamental process of resolving most contests (Hack, 1996). Some advantageous traits such as body size and mass as well as endurance can affect the outcome of an agnostic altercation between the crickets (Huntington et al. 1986) Extrinsic aspects of fighting ability, such as prior ownership of a resource, provide a strategic advantage in some contests (Parker et al. 1974). We can predict that in the presence of a resource such as food, the aggression in Acheta domesticus can be an assessment towards resolving a contest for the resource in question. In this experimental model, the two male crickets are expected to show repeated conflict over a piece of food. If the game model theory is correct, then the rates of aggression for male crickets should increase in the presence of food (Parker et al 1974). Usually
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