Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bold crickets have a shorter life

23.04.2015

An individual’s behaviour in risky situations is a distinct personality trait that can have an immediate impact on longevity. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen have now found differences in personality types for the first time in free living field crickets. Risk-prone individuals showed a higher mortality as they stayed more often outside their burrow where they can be easily detected by predators. Moreover, shy individuals are not encountered so often by researchers, causing potential bias in collected scientific data. This methodological problem has been neglected in many personality studies but has been accounted for uniquely in the present study.

Animals, like humans, have distinct personalities that are partly defined by genes and partly shaped by the environment. Personality as a phenomenon means that some individuals are consistently more shy, bold, cautious or aggressive compared to others.


A cricket in front of its burrow. For identification, the researchers marked it with a painted spot on its back.

Petri T. Niemelä

During the last decade, different individual personality patterns have been detected in more than 100 animal species and found to be related to important life history traits such as reproductive success and survival.

Studying personality in the wild is important since it ensures that the behavioural expression as well as ecological data (such as longevity) are collected in a natural environment and thus not affected by artificial experimental setups used in the laboratory. Most studies of the relationships between personality and survival have been conducted on established vertebrate models such as mammals and songbirds and there are few studies, if any, on invertebrates in wild populations.

Scientists, led by Niels Dingemanse, from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich have investigated the personality and survivorship in wild field crickets. Within a 120 m² fenced-off meadow, cricket nymphs were individually marked and monitored until they reached adulthood in order to study their individual behaviour and survival.

For example, flight initiation distance, i.e. distance when crickets initiate the escape of an approaching thread, was determined by tapping a round wooden pole on the ground towards the cricket’s burrow mimicking natural ground predators that prey on this insect.

Together with the measurement of the maximum distance that crickets moved away from their burrows these behaviours were used to define whether crickets express personalities. As predicted, bold behaviours varied consistently between individuals, verifying the presence of personality.

Bold field crickets suffered from higher mortality compared to less bold ones probably because they are preyed upon by natural predators such as shrews and birds more often compared to shy individuals. Furthermore, bold individuals were more easily detected by the observer which likely represents the mechanism for their higher mortality: predators can detect bold individuals more easily.

To verify that observers did not simply miss the shy individuals, the researchers fenced the burrows and repeated the measurements. “These differences in the encounter rates between bold and shy individuals should be considered in future studies investigating relationships between personality and fitness in natural populations”, says Petri Niemelä, first author of the study. (SL/HR)

Weitere Informationen:

http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/04/15/beheco.arv036.full
http://www.mpg.de/9192793/personality-related-survival-crickets

Dr. Sabine Spehn | Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>