Behaviour 2019
Indirect effects of conspecifics on house cricket calling
Sekhar M A, Ned Dochtermann. North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, United States

Individuals alter their behavior in response to both the same behavior or different behaviors of conspecifics. These indirect genetic effects play a major role in shaping social interactions, especially during conspecific aggression. However, how indirect genetic effects influence calling hasn’t been fully explored. In this study, we used house crickets, Acheta domesticus, to investigate whether there are indirect genetic effects of opponents on calling during agonistic interactions. We predicted that the spatial and temporal features of cricket calls may vary according to opponent identity. Crickets were paired randomly and had their calls recorded during agonistic interactions. Calls were later analyzed. Indirect effects of opponents on certain call parameters were then estimated. We were also able to separately estimate the direct effects (due to genetic effects and developmental plasticity) of an individual on their own call structure. Understanding indirect genetic effects on communication is necessary for understanding how agonistic behaviors evolve. This study suggests that the interaction between direct and indirect effects can accelerate evolutionary responses.