Drug Discov Ther. 2022;16(5):204-209. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2022.01058)

Surrounding gas composition affects the calling song development in the two-spotted cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus)

Miyashita A, Sekimizu K, Kaito C


Male crickets emit acoustic signals (i.e., songs) by chirping using their forewings. Although the mechanisms and adaptive functions of these songs are well studied, knowledge about how songs develop within a generation is relatively scarce. Our previous work demonstrated a stable peak frequency at 5.7 kHz in the calling songs recorded from mature adult male crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus). In the present study, we monitored changes in the frequency component over time from the sexual maturity stage (early adult stage). We recorded 300 calling songs from a pool of 122 adults. The peak frequency distribution was lower and unstable (i.e., greater coefficient of variance) in the early adult stage. The mean peak frequency was 4.9 kHz on day 3, but gradually converged to 5.8 kHz over the 2-week adult stage. Immature adult males (emitting immature songs) produced an appropriately tuned song with a peak frequency of 5.8 kHz in an environment of 80% helium and 20% oxygen. These results suggest that the frequency component of the calling song is acquired during the early to mid-adult stage, and may be related to sexual maturation in males. Findings from the helium substitution experiment revealed that physical resistance from surrounding gas molecules negatively affect the stability of male singing, and that muscle development and forewing hardening may contribute to the maturation of singing, suggesting that females may adaptively select sexually mature males based on song traits.

KEYWORDS: Cricket, Gryllus, calling, bioacoustics, development

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