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Level Of Aggression In House Crickets (Acheta Domesticus) With Different Resources Available

1393 words - 6 pages

Level of Aggression in House Crickets (Acheta domesticus) With Different Resources Available

Level of Aggression in House Crickets (Acheta domesticus) With Different Resources Available

Abstract: The house cricket, Acheta domesticus, was used to test whether food and potential mates drive aggressive behavior. Male crickets were randomly selected in pairs and place into a cage to observe aggressive behaviors in the presence of no food, food, and female. The cage provided a confine area for the crickets to fight one another while the variables of food and female were used in attempts of increasing aggressive interactions between the male crickets. There was no significance found through this experiment due to a lack of data. It was discovered that the experiment would have to be done at a larger scale to be able to see any significance in the two variables.

Intro: Charles Darwin’s natural selection comes to mind when viewing the aggressive behaviors in crickets. This interaction comes into play specifically when competition for resources, such as foods and females, are scarce. Thus, only the organism most fit in the environment would be allowed to survive and pass on its genes. Pioneers of animal behavior, pave the way to understanding the why animals act the way they act (von Frisch, 1967; Lorenz, 1952; and Tinbergen 1951). With further integration between different biological organizations, we see the rise of new possible research, especially in crickets (Wong & Hoffman, 2010). The house crickets, Acheta domesticus, would normally display little to no aggression between males because of their natural behavior to live in groups. But when isolated for a length of time, aggression level in the crickets increases and allows the display of their aggressive behaviors. Crickets have seven interactions that characterize their level of aggression: mutual avoidance (where there is no aggressive interaction), pre-established dominance (when one cricket displays aggression while the other retreats), antennal fencing (the use of antennae for aggressive interaction), mandible spreading (occurs when either or both crickets display their spread mandibles), mandible engagement (mandibles between the crickets interlock they begin to push against each other), wrestling (an all out fight between the two crickets), and chirping (the cricket’s rivalry song) (Jang et al, 2008; Judge & Bonanno, 2008; Tinbergen 1951; Anderson 1980).
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Figure 1 displays the levels of aggressiveness in crickets above. Though listed chronologically, there is no definite order in which the interactions occur. Factors that can be taken into consideration when viewing levels of aggression and dominance would be the morphology of the crickets. Body length, body weight, and mandible length can all be used in determining aggression and dominance (Enquist & Leimar 1983, 1987; Hofmann & Schildberger, 2001). Variables that play a...

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