, Volume 168, Issue 2, pp 159-164

Neurohormonal control of the mating interval in the male cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus DeGeer

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Between two mating acts of the male cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus), spermatophore protrusion (SP) and courtship stridulation (CS), there is a fixed time interval. This interval lasts about 1 h. During the period from SP to CS, the male cricket does not stridulate nor make any type of mating sound (post-spermatophore protrusion silence: PSPS) and tolerates external sensory stimuli. We examined the effects of injections of hemolymph and ganglia extracts on the interval. Extracts obtained from crickets which had just started CS (CS crickets) and those which had finished SP (SP crickets) were effective. The extracts were fractionated by ul trafiltration. Fractions with a molecular weight of less than 1 kdalton affected the length of the PSPS. The fractions from both the hemolymph and the mesothoracic ganglion of CS crickets shortened the PSPS. On the other hand, the fractions from the hemolymph and the brain of SP crickets lengthened the PSPS. We estimated, by gel filtration, the molecular weight of the effective fractions from the mesothoracic ganglion and the brain to be 100–200 daltons. We also examined the effects of biogenic amines on the PSPS. Octopamine shortened the PSPS, whereas serotonin lengthened it. The results in dicate that at least two neurohormones from the brain and the mesothoracic ganglion reciprocally control the elicitation of CS and provide an appropriate interval in the mating sequence of the male cricket. Octopamine and serotonin are possible candidates for these neurohormones.