Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When cave crickets go out for dinner, they really go, researchers say

08.09.2005


Cave crickets travel farther from their homes to forage -- by about double -- than their previously reported range, researchers have discovered. In Texas, that means protective buffer areas around caves may need to be extended to protect endangered invertebrate species that live inside and depend on the crickets.



Reporting in the journal American Midland Naturalist, a team of researchers led by Steven J. Taylor, an entomologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, reported that the crickets, Ceuthophilus secretus, journey at night in high numbers up to 80 meters (262 feet) from the entrances of central Texas caves. A few crickets traveled up to 105 meters (344 feet) to feed.

Previous research indicated that most crickets stay within 50 meters (164 feet) from their caves. As part of the formula for a buffer zone proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a range for cricket foraging was recommended. The buffer zone also extends outward to control for the effects of invasive red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren). The buffer-zone formula helps to guide where to apply treatment applications against the ants.


Buffer zones are designed to help maintain a healthy vegetative community, including woodland and grassland species, around cave entrances to protect cave life from disturbance, including that created by encroaching urban development.

"Our findings suggest that a relatively large area may be needed to protect the crickets’ foraging area and to shield them from fire ants," Taylor said. "Based on the foraging range we saw, we believe that cave resource managers may wish to create buffers around the footprint of a cave -- not just the entrance. It could be that there are other small openings that allow crickets to leave caves on their way to forage."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed 16 cave invertebrates – including a variety of spiders, pseudoscorpions and beetles – in the Austin-San Antonio region as federally endangered species. These invertebrates depend on nutrients brought into caves primarily by crickets after foraging. Crickets also lay their eggs inside.

Taylor and colleagues studied the crickets around a cave at Fort Hood, a sprawling military base northwest of Austin. Both cave crickets and fire ants are found in large numbers around the cave, in which several invertebrates related to endangered species live.

Researchers collected crickets as they emerged from the cave during late spring and summer in 2003. Using a fine-tipped brush, scientists, in the course of 17 nights, marked more than 2,000 crickets with fluorescent water-based paint. The crickets were then released each night within a meter of the cave entrance. Later each night, the crickets were located using portable black lights, with their locations plotted with GPS equipment. On subsequent days, the locations were measured and analyzed.

On average, adult crickets were found farther from the cave entrance than were the nymphs. While 51 percent of all crickets were found to be within 40 meters (131 feet) of the cave entrance, 8 percent were found at locations 80 meters (262 feet) and beyond.

Previous studies of cave-cricket foraging depended on the use of bait stations, which, Taylor said, could have biased the distribution and movements of the crickets by attracting them to energy-rich locations. The use of paint on the crickets, he said, made it "more likely that observed foraging distances are natural."

"Our results provide a quantitative measure of cave cricket foraging range," the researchers wrote, "and indicate that Ceuthophius secretus routinely forages out to 80 meters or more from the cave entrance, and is relatively uniform in density out to this distance."

Co-authors on the study were Jean K. Krejca of Zara Environmental LCC in Buda, Texas, and Michael L. Denight of the Engineer Research and Development Center at the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Ill.

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>