Fighting for independence

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Male crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus) establish dominance hierarchies within a population by fighting with one another. Larger males win fights more frequently than their smaller counterparts, and a previous study found that males recognise one another primarily through sensory input from the antennae. This study therefore investigated whether the success of larger crickets is influenced by sensory input from the antennae, in part by assessing the number of fights that large 'antennectomized' crickets won against small crickets, compared with the number that large, intact crickets won. The success rate was significantly lower in antennectomized males, though they still won the majority of fights (73/100 versus 58/100, Fisher's exact test P < 0.05); the authors thus conclude that sensory input from the antennae affects the fighting success of large males, but that other size-related factors also play a part.




Saxon, E. (2016, January 19). Fighting for independence. BMC Biology. BioMed Central Ltd.

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