1 October 2005 Discrimination of Conspecific Individuals via Cuticular Pheromones by Males of the Cricket Gryllus bimaculatus
Jun Nagamoto, Hitoshi Aonuma, Mituhiko Hisada
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Cuticular substances on the body surface of crickets serve as pheromones that elicit a variety of different behaviors in male crickets. Antennal contact between males and females resulted in courtship behavior, and that between two males resulted in aggressive displays. As a first step in elucidating how crickets recognize and discriminate individuals, behavioral responses of male individuals to cuticular substances of conspecific males or females were investigated. The behavioral responses of males to antennal or palpal stimulation with an isolated antenna from a male or a female were recorded. To both antennal and palpal stimulation with female antennae, the majority of males responded with courtship behavior; to stimulation with male antennae, males responded with aggressive displays. To gain insight into the chemical nature of the behaviorally relevant components, isolated antennae were washed in either n-hexane, acetone or ethanol before behavior assays. Washed antennae no longer elicited courtship or aggressive responses in males. Next, polypropylene fibers were smeared with substances from the body surface of females and used for antennal stimulation. This experiment showed that the quality and quantity of cuticular substances appear to be highly age-dependent. Significantly more males responded with courtship behavior to cuticular substances from younger females. Isolated males generally showed higher levels of aggression than males reared in groups. Grouped males also were more likely to display courtship behavior towards antennae from younger females, and aggressive behavior towards antennae from older females. These results suggest that male discrimination of mating partners depends on the nature of female cuticular substances.

Jun Nagamoto, Hitoshi Aonuma, and Mituhiko Hisada "Discrimination of Conspecific Individuals via Cuticular Pheromones by Males of the Cricket Gryllus bimaculatus," Zoological Science 22(10), 1079-1088, (1 October 2005). https://doi.org/10.2108/zsj.22.1079
Received: 11 July 2005; Accepted: 1 August 2005; Published: 1 October 2005
aggressive behavior
courtship behavior
cuticular pheromone
mating partner
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