Predator-naïve fall field crickets respond to the chemical cues of wolf spiders

Storm, Jonathan J.; Lima, Steven L.
November 2008
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Nov2008, Vol. 86 Issue 11, p1259
Academic Journal
Few studies have addressed whether terrestrial insects assess predation risk via chemical cues. We exposed predator-naïve fall field crickets (Gryllus pennsylvanicus Burmeister, 1838) to filter paper containing the chemical cues of three wolf spiders (Hogna helluo (Walckenaer, 1837), Rabidosa rabida (Walckenaer, 1837), Rabidosa punctulata (Hentz, 1844)), the house cricket (Acheta domesticus L., 1758,) and blank filter paper. Crickets exhibited greater immobility and reduced speed of movement when exposed to chemical cues of all three spider species. Crickets exhibited reduced speed with increasing mass of R. punctulata, suggesting that larger spiders may pose a greater risk. Cricket response did not differ between cues of H. helluo fed conspecific crickets versus H. helluo fed house crickets, suggesting that crickets cannot distinguish between cues from H. helluo fed phylogenetically similar crickets. Our work nevertheless demonstrates that naïve field crickets respond to chemical cues of several species of wolf spiders.


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