Wild Things: Life as We Know It
Cobras, sharks, lemurs, hermit crabs and more...
- By T. A. Frail, Megan Gambino, Laura Helmuth, Erica R. Hendry and Abigail Tucker
- Smithsonian magazine, July-August 2010,
Name: The field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus.
Some Sing Males attract females by rubbing their forewings together to chirp. Males who can’t or don’t “sing” lurk near singers to mate with lured females.
Who Listens? Females do, for sure—but so do juvenile males, note biologists at the University of California at Riverside.
What Happens? Males who grow up amid lots of singers tend to have bigger testes than those who don’t. They’re in better physical condition and more likely to sing. The study shows that insects’ behavior and bodies are keenly attuned to their social environments.
“Birch (Betula spp.) leaves adsorb and re-release volatiles specific to neighbouring plants – a mechanism for associational herbivore resistance?” Sari J. Himanen et al., New Phytologist, March 10, 2010
“A seasnake’s colour affects its susceptibility to algal fouling,” R. Shine et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, April 7, 2010
“Mate choice and mate competition by a tropical hummingbird at a floral resource,” Ethan J. Temeles and W. John Kress, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, February 3, 2010
“Socially induced brain development in a facultatively eusocial sweat bee Megalopta genalis (Halictidae),” Adam R. Smith et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, March 24, 2010
“Conditioned taste aversion enhances the survival of an endangered predator imperiled by a toxic invader,” Stephanie O’Donnell et al., Journal of Applied Ecology, April 13, 2010