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Detection of the Spider Predator, Hololena Nedra By Naïve Juvenile Field Crickets (Gryllus Integer) Using Indirect Cues

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[In many species, prey detect predators using chemical cues, which may be based on the predator's previous diet. Furthermore, the predator's previous hunting strategy and diet may affect the prey's behavioural strategies to avoid predation. Juvenile Gryllid field crickets face predation by spiders, but the responses of juvenile crickets to spiders are unknown. We studied whether naïve juvenile field crickets can detect a predatory spider, Hololena nedra, using chemotactile cues (silk, secretions and excreta). We also studied the effect of the predator's diet on the juvenile field cricket's anti-predator behaviour. Cricket nymphs avoided the chemotactile spider cues when the spiders were previously fed with crickets, but not when spiders were not fed crickets. Our study suggests that the ability to detect the indirect cues of a potential predator may be an important factor determining the anti-predator responses of insects towards spiders., In many species, prey detect predators using chemical cues, which may be based on the predator's previous diet. Furthermore, the predator's previous hunting strategy and diet may affect the prey's behavioural strategies to avoid predation. Juvenile Gryllid field crickets face predation by spiders, but the responses of juvenile crickets to spiders are unknown. We studied whether naïve juvenile field crickets can detect a predatory spider, Hololena nedra, using chemotactile cues (silk, secretions and excreta). We also studied the effect of the predator's diet on the juvenile field cricket's anti-predator behaviour. Cricket nymphs avoided the chemotactile spider cues when the spiders were previously fed with crickets, but not when spiders were not fed crickets. Our study suggests that the ability to detect the indirect cues of a potential predator may be an important factor determining the anti-predator responses of insects towards spiders.]

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