Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 158, Issue 4, pp 583–591

Song harmonic content as a parameter determining acoustic orientation behaviour in the cricketTeleogryllus oceanicus (Le Guillou)

  • W. Latimer
  • D. B. Lewis

DOI: 10.1007/BF00603802

Cite this article as:
Latimer, W. & Lewis, D.B. J. Comp. Physiol. (1986) 158: 583. doi:10.1007/BF00603802


Analyses of natural songs from the cricketTeleogryllus oceanicus confirm (after Hutchings and Lewis 1984) that the songs are rich in harmonics which extend up to around 55 kHz. A series of synthetic song models with a varying harmonic content were used to determine the relevance of these harmonics to the orientation behaviour of the insects.

In two-choice experiments in which song models were presented simultaneously, crickets showed a clear discrimination between a song with harmonics and a song without. Female insects orientated preferentially to a song with harmonics. Interestingly, males preferred a song model without harmonics in the two-choice situation.

Two experimental regimes were used to test orientation accuracy, a forced-choice (Y maze) phonotactic experiment and a study of free phonotaxis in the behavioural arena. The results of both experimental approaches confirm that crickets orientate more accurately to a song with harmonics and can discriminate smaller angles to sound sources ahead and lateral to the insect.

Presentations of song models in which the fundamental (5 kHz) was attenuated relative to the 2nd harmonic have given results that imply a process of neural integration (two-tone or side band suppression) of the fundamental and the high-frequency harmonics.




Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Latimer
    • 1
  • D. B. Lewis
    • 2
  1. 1.Fachbereich BiologiePhilipps-UniversitätMarburgFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCity of London PolytechnicLondonEngland

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