Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 162, Issue 2, pp 213–223 | Cite as

The mechanics of stridulation of the cricketGryllus campestris

  • Uwe T. Koch
  • Christopher J. H. Elliott
  • Karl -Heinz Schäffner
  • Hans -Ulrich Kleindienst


Details in the stridulatory movement ofGryllus campestris were investigated using an improved high resolution miniature angle measurement system. The following results were obtained: During the closing (sound producing) stroke, the speed of the plectrum always has the same value (within measuring accuracy) at a given position. Plectrum speed is directly proportional to tooth spacing, which is known to vary along the file. The only exception to this rule were occasions when closing velocities of precisely 2 times the standard value were found. In between values were never recorded. While temperature has a large effect on the opening speed and duration, the closing speed has a very smallQ10 (0.07) which is equal to theQ10 of the resonance frequency of the harp. When the harps are removed, the proportionality between tooth spacing and scraper velocity is lost; the velocity is much increased (up to 3-fold) and the variance of the speed is enhanced 5-fold.

These results are discussed with respect to 3 hypothetical models explaining the function of the sound generator system. The model describing the cricket sound generator as a clockwork with an escapement system is capable of accommodating all experimental data without any extra assumptions.


Experimental Data High Resolution Resonance Frequency Measurement System Generator System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uwe T. Koch
    • 1
  • Christopher J. H. Elliott
    • 1
  • Karl -Heinz Schäffner
    • 1
  • Hans -Ulrich Kleindienst
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieAbteilung HuberFederal Republic of Germany

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