Cricket Ethogram

Ethogram of Female Crickets, Acheta domesticus

By Moriah Audette

Individual Behaviors:

  • Threading Antennae Through Mouth – taking front limbs, reaching up and bending antennae towards the head and into mouth.
  • Feeding – moving the jaw to take off a small part of the given food or a dead cricket and ingesting it. Feeding on the dead occurred mostly during the night, when it was dark.
  • Walking – moving all six legs to get from one location to another.
  • Moving Antennae – while standing still or moving, the cricket’s head remains still while one or both antennae move radially, each moving independent of the other.
  • Climbing – using all six legs, a cricket walks up onto an elevated surface such as food or a Dixie cup.
  • Digging Ovipositor into Sand – the cricket will slightly lean forward and backward repetitively and push the end of the ovipositor into the damp sand.
  • Rubbing Hind Legs Together – lifting both hind legs and rubbing them against one another above the ovipositor.
  • Resting – all motion of the head, legs, and antennae stops for just a moment or for several minutes in any location.
  • Head Tilt – often coupled with moving their antennae, the cricket will move its head from a horizontal position to a slight slant left or right.
  • Sunbathing (resting in the sun) – when the container is moved under partial/full sunlight, an individual will walk toward the sunlight (often seeking high ground on the Dixie cup) and rest in the sun.
  • Jumping – quickly using all legs to leap vertically, often hitting the lid of the container.

Interactive Behaviors:

  • Sunbathing (resting in the sun) – although also an individual behavior, when the container is moved and kept under partial sunlight, individuals will gather as a group on top of the Dixie cup and rest in the sun.
  • Feeding – an individual behavior, the crickets often ate at the same time.

Other Notes:

  • All behaviors were observed in quiet dorm conditions, as well as in room temperature near an open window for fresh air flow.

Questions:

  1. How do crickets detect/sense what is food and what isn’t?
  2. At what temperature are crickets most active?

Hypotheses:

  1. Crickets use their antennae to detect where food is.
  2. Crickets are most active in conditions warmer than room temperature.

Predictions for Hypothesis 2:

  1. If crickets are most active in conditions warmer than room temperature, then a cricket will climb to the top of the Dixie cup more frequently at temperatures 5-10 degrees higher than room temperature.
  2. If crickets are most active in conditions warmer than room temperature, then a cricket will jump less frequently at temperatures 5-10 degrees lower than room temperature.

One thought on “Cricket Ethogram

  1. Karen Cangialosi says:

    Good job! How would you characterize the behaviors you observed into states and events?
    Think about writing predictions that are testable in the short term with data that you can imagine collecting. (Are your two predictions different from each other?)

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