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Sensory feedback stabilizing reliable stridulation in the field cricket gryllus campestris

Sensory feedback stabilizing reliable stridulation in the field cricket gryllus campestris

Animal Behaviour 31(3): 887-901

ISSN/ISBN: 0003-3472

Male field crickets (G. campestris) normally perform calling songs with the right forewing over the left. If the wing orientation is inverted, the male can stridulate, but sound intensity is 100 times less and it uses a special wing-spreading behavior to restore the normal right over left orientation. A set of 2 hair fields on each wing is shown to have a stabilizing effect on wing orientation. After removal of the inner hair plates, that is the lower on the right forewing and the upper on the left forewing, the chance of accidental wing inversion rises dramatically. Quantitative measurements of the wing position during stridulation were made using miniature angle detectors. After hair plate removal the wing opening is increased by 13% and the jitter in the opening position is increased by 100%. The wings are then fully separated in 2% of the calling song syllables observed, explaining the increased chance of inversion. Sensory feedback from these hair fields stabilizes the wing movement amplitude, preventing wing inversion during calling, which ensures the high intensity sound production necessary to attract females.

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Accession: 006390053

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