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cricket lab - 1 Introduction The house cricket Acheta...

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1 Introduction The house cricket, Acheta domesticus , exhibits different methods to communicate between male and female crickets. Female crickets are attracted to the sound of male crickets (Rillich, 2009). Although male crickets display aggressive behavior to attract female crickets, research into how female crickets respond to the male crickets remain limited in scope (Hedwig, 2001). Female aggression in the cricket Gryllus campestris serves as an example of how the crickets respond to male crickets (Archer, 1988). Furthermore, female crickets defend their burrow against invasion by other female crickets (Rost & Honegger, 1987). Previous experiments have shown that female crickets compete for food during periods of food deprivation (Nosil, 2002). Therefore, we will examine whether females prefer spending time closer or farther away from the source of the male calling sound. The calling song of male crickets attracts female crickets by evoking phonotaxis (Hoffman et al., 2011). The experiment will evaluate whether phonotaxis in the species Acheta domesticus attracts females towards the male calling song. Female phonotaxis decreases when seminal proteins increases in the hemolymph of females (Green & Tregenza, 2009). In an experiment where researchers inject naloxane into the hemolymph of females, the crickets change their response to phonotaxis (Dyakonova et al., 2002). Thus, the behavior of females towards phonotaxis is different than established results suggest. Evaluation of phonotaxis was conducted by the Wilcoxon rank test, which assessed whether the female cricket had a preference for either segments of an observation area. The amount of time the female cricket spent in each segment of the observation area was recorded for three minutes. Methods and Materials
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2 Female Acheta domesticus crickets were kept in a plastic container which housed 21 female house crickets. The crickets were stored under standard conditions of 25 degrees Celsius (room temperature). The cricket was placed in a cylindrical arena fashioned from laminate flooring that had two speakers attached on two different sides. The top of the observation arena was ventilated to the open air. As a measure of the preference the female exhibits in the observation chamber, we measured the amount of time the cricket spent in each part of the observation chamber, which was divided into parts a and b. The calling song was defined as a song that the male procures by scratching its forewings to attract potential female crickets. The sound output was controlled by two speakers set up at two opposite ends of the observation arena. To control for echoes and vibrations that occur from the circular shape of the observation arena, the researchers turned on the speaker on one sector of the observation arena.
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