Behaviour 2019
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Effects of Ambient Temperature on Cricket Song Preferences in the Parasitoid Fly Ormia ochracea
Iya Abdulkarim, Karina J. Jirik, Emilia Stoian, Johanna C. Glasser, Luis J. Almanza, Norman Lee. St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, United States

In communication systems, receiver sensory mechanisms are typically selective for conspecific signals. As mis-communication can be costly, such mechanisms should account for changes in signal features resulting from environmental perturbations. For example, the pulse rate of field cricket calling songs varies with ambient temperature and preferences for this feature in female crickets shift accordingly. Whether unintended receivers also exhibit this temperature-coupled signal preference is unresolved. In this study, we test the hypothesis that pulse-rate preferences of Ormia ochracea, an acoustic parasitoid of singing field crickets, shifts with temperature. Using a spherical treadmill system, we recorded tethered walking phonotaxis from flies subjected to songs varying in pulse rates at three different ambient temperatures (21, 25, 30 ℃). Our results show that the pulse rate preference functions did not shift with temperature, but the peak broadened at 30 ℃, indicating less selectivity. O. ochracea did not exhibit the same type of temperature coupling found in field crickets, which may be attributed to different selective pressures encountered by flies compared to female crickets.