Navigation Links
Male crickets with bigger heads are better fighters, study reveals, echoing ancient Chinese text
Date:1/7/2009

Observing and betting on cricket fights has been part of Chinese cultural tradition since at least the Sung Dynasty (A.D. 960-1278). This ancient practice has resulted in quite a detailed list of characteristics that Chinese practitioners think make for champion fighters. "Because money was involved, there was a strong incentive for the practitioners of this sport to observe their cricket fighters closely," says Kevin Judge, a biology postdoctoral researcher at University of Toronto Mississauga.

Interestingly, an 800-year-old Chinese text mentions that the best cricket fighters have the largest heads. In nature, male field crickets fight one another over territories and access to potential mates by using their pointed and pincer-like mouthparts as weapons. In a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, Judge and co-author Vanessa Bonanno show that, indeed, males with larger heads and mouthparts are more successful in fights with smaller-headed rivals. They also show that male field crickets have larger heads and mouthparts than females, which, "makes sense given that female crickets don't fight over mates," says Judge.

Field crickets, a diverse group of insects distributed around the globe, have been important subjects for researchers interested in studying the evolution of animal aggression and the settlement of contests between individuals. For all that study, the influence of heads and mouthparts as weaponry has been largely overlooked in field crickets, unlike their close allies, the New Zealand weta, says Judge.

The study by Judge and Bonanno, "tested theories of contest settlement and sexual selection, and how body shape has evolved to help males in competition with other males," says Judge.

The researchers conducted two experiments to test the hypothesis that relatively larger weaponry conveys an advantage to males in aggressive contests. Pairs of males were selected for differences in head size and consequently were different in the size of maxillae and mandibles. In the first experiment, males were closely matched for body size (pronotum length), and in the second, they were matched for body mass. Males with proportionately larger weaponry won more fights and increasing differences in weaponry size between males increased the fighting success of the male with the larger weaponry.

By examining weaponry, this NSERC-funded study provides a new avenue by which researchers can understand aggression in field crickets.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Judge
kevin.judge@utoronto.ca
905-828-5267
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. In the animal world, bigger isnt necessarily better
2. Plants grow bigger and more vigorously through changes in their internal clocks
3. Largest ever study of genetics of common disease just got bigger
4. Insects take a bigger bite out of plants in a higher CO2 world
5. Seismic images show dinosaur-killing meteor made bigger splash
6. Economists: Reduce fish catch now for bigger net profits later
7. CT scans reveal that dinosaurs were airheads
8. United we stand: When cooperation butts heads with competition
9. Soybean database will help breeders engineer better-performing plants
10. Diverse landscapes are better: Policymakers urged to think broadly about biofuel crops
11. Diverse landscapes are better: Policymakers urged to think broadly about biofuel crops
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2017)...  higi, the health IT company that operates the ... , today announced a Series B investment from ... The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to ... population health activities through the collection and workflow integration ... collects and secures data today on behalf of over ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been ... (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the ... In addition, CHS previously earned a place in ... electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS Analytics ... EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This recognition ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... , ... Leaders of Quorum Review IRB and Kinetiq , ... this week’s Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) 2017 Meeting & Expo ... "We are excited to present subject matter expertise on topics that impact the global ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... more than a year, Formaspace is pleased to introduce it to top lab design ... Carolina. Formaspace CEO Jeff Turk and VP of Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), a ... technology start-ups, is hosting “Celebration Friday” (a festive gathering highlighting client success stories) ... and networking at 3:30 p.m. at FITCI’s 4539 Metropolitan Court location, off English ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company ... data evaluating galcanezumab for the prevention of migraine at ... will take place April 22-28, 2017, in ... four abstracts at AAN, including safety and patient outcomes ... associated with a reduction in monthly migraine headache days ...
Breaking Biology Technology: