Cricket Ethogram

Observed Behaviors:

Movement:

Walking- use all legs to move around the environment.

Climbing- use all legs to move up climbable object, the cup.

Attempted climbing (scratching)- move legs against the plastic surface of the container. Visible scraping of the first four legs to scratch the container and the back two legs kick up the sand on the ground.

Resting:

Hiding or body regulation- Like to be under cover of some sort.

Stillness on top of the cup- Do like to be at high points as well.

Mouth part to leg action- Use mandables to clean (maybe?) their legs.

Posterior leg scratching at thorax- Use posterior legs to clean (maybe) the thorax.

Interaction:

Groups- Stick together for the most part, vary rarely have I seen a cricket alone.

Molting inspection- Crickets carefully observe a molting individual, touching with antennae and jumping back (as if startled).

Crawling over one another- Personal space does not seem to be a concept to them.

Cannibalism- One of the crickets seemed to be eating a cricket while it was molting. I have one less cricket and a cricket was seen picking at the molting cricket. Not sure if the molting cricket was still alive. Not sure of the cannibalistic cricket was male or female.

Responding to Environment:

Avoids cold surfaces- The crickets would avoid being on the ground when the container was in contact with the cold surface of the window sill.

Questions:

  1. When do crickets act in cannibalism?  The molting cricket was eaten but the non-molting dead cricket was not.
  2. Why does one of the larger crickets always appear resting on top of the cup? it is generally alone.

Hypotheses:

  1. A cricket acts in cannibalism when the dead or dying cricket has an opening in its exoskeleton.
  2. A larger cricket is found resting on the cup when there appears to be no threat of predation to the cricket.

Predictions:

  1. If a cricket acts in cannibalism when the dead or dying cricket has an opening in its exoskeleton, then if given the choice between a dead cricket whose exoskeleton is open and a dead cricket whose exoskeleton is intact the crickets there will be more eating events of the compromised cricket than the intact cricket.
  2. If a larger cricket is found resting on the cup when there appears to be no threat of predation to the cricket, then if a cricket senses a predator it will spend less time on the cup.