Antennal pointing responses to approaching objects were observed in the house cricket Acheta domesticus. In response to a ball approaching from the lateral side, crickets oriented the antenna ipsilateral to the ball towards it. In response to a ball approaching from the front, crickets oriented both antennae forward. Response rates of antennal pointing were higher when the ball was approaching from the front than from behind. The antennal angle ipsilateral to the approaching ball was positively correlated with approaching angle of the ball. Obstructing the cricket's sight decreased the response rate of antennal pointing, suggesting that this response was elicited mainly by visual stimuli. Although the response rates of antennal pointing decreased when the object ceased its approach at a great distance from the cricket, antennal pointing appeared to be resistant to habituation and was not substantially affected by the velocity, size and trajectory of an approaching ball. When presented with computer-generated visual stimuli, crickets frequently showed the antennal pointing response to a darkening stimulus as well as looming and linearly-expanding stimuli. Drifting gratings rarely elicited the antennal pointing. These results suggest that luminance change is sufficient to elicit antennal pointing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science