Behaviour 2019
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Are cuticular hydrocarbons used for species recognition by Gryllus veletis and G. pennsylvanicus?
Alyssa Neimeyer1, Nicholas Boaz2, Chandreyee Mitra1. 1Biology, North Central College, Naperville, IL, United States; 2Chemistry, North Central College, Naperville, IL, United States

Errors in species recognition can have high fitness costs when closely related species exist in sympatry. In many crickets, species recognition is thought to occur via acoustic signals. Male crickets sing to attract mates, and females choose males based on these calls. These songs are also used by females for species recognition. Two IL field crickets, Gryllus veletisand G. pennsylvanicusco-occur geographically and have partially overlapping mating seasons. Previous studies have found no species specific differences in their male calls or external anatomy. However, hybridization is lethal as no offspring result from such matings. As chemosensory communication is also used by some species for species recognition, here we ask whether G. veletisand G. pennsylvanicus differ in their cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles. CHCs were extracted from crickets using hexane extraction, characterized using gas chromatography, and analyzed via PCA. Multimodal communication is being recognized more and more as the norm, as opposed to the exception in many systems. Our study examines the importance of chemical communication in a system often used as a model for acoustic communication.