Behaviour 2019
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Direct Effects of Prolonged Exposure to Cues of Predator Presence in Gryllodes sigillatus
Jeremy D. Dalos, Ned A. Dochtermann. North Dakota State University , Fargo, North Dakota, United States

Behavioral plasticity refers to a change in an organism's behavior that results from exposure to stimuli, such as changing environmental conditions. Our understanding of behavioral plasticity is largely based on singular stimulus exposure. In this experiment we studied how lengthened exposure to predator exposure during development and as adults affected anti-predator behavior and shelter emergence of G. sigillatus. The behavior of individuals exposed to predator presence throughout development was compared to control individuals reared in a similar environment but without predator exposure. We predicted that an exaggerated habituation effect would occur and continuous exposure to the presence of a predator would decrease cricket responses to subsequent exposure to similar cues of predator presence when mature. Because anti-predator behavioral tendencies can be linked to other aspects of behavior across different situations, we tested for altered levels of boldness in latency trials. Ultimately, individuals from the exposure treatments did not behave differently than those from control treatments. This suggests a habituation back to baseline level responses to chronic cue exposure.