Signaling or Not-Signaling: Variation in Vulnerability and Defense Tactics of Armored Ground Crickets (Acanthoplus Speiseri: Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae, Hetrodinae)
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Male Orthoptera singing from exposed perches are at risk from acoustically- and visually-hunting predators. The defensive reactions of armored ground crickets (Acanthoplus speiseri) include falling silent, dropping from their perch, alarm stridulation and autohaemorrhaging. Male and female ground crickets show different reactivity (i.e. the number or intensity of defense tactics used) to predation, depending on level of exposure: calling males were more reactive when approached during daylight, compared with in the dark. During daylight, calling males were more reactive than silent, cryptic, males and females. The level of response presumably reflected the riskiness of the individual’s behavior and situation at that time. Plasticity of response to predation allows individuals to balance risky behavior (i.e. acoustic signaling from exposed perches) by being more reactive to potential threats.
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