The Evolving Crickets website tackles three aims:
First, the site acts as an educational portal, providing general information on cricket evolution and ecology (Crickets!), on general aspects of cricket behavior (Cricket Behavior), and providing a series of laboratory projects suitable for undergraduate classes in animal behavior and evolution (exercises). These educational activities include videos and ready-to-go assignments which allow students to begin developing ethograms, begin quantifying behavior, and to being asking questions about sexual selection, prezygotic isolation, and how populations respond to selection.
Second, the site introduces ideas about responses to selection when multiple traits are correlated. Many undergraduates are exposed to simple models of selection and evolutionary response but the effects of selection on several traits is less well understood. Here, simulation models will allow students to explore a variety of conditions and how trait correlations can affect evolution and even how they can form.
Finally, the site is intended to document evolutionary divergence among artificially selected lines. Pending funding we will be applying selection favoring trait combinations opposite that observed phenotypicaly. For example, if activity and predator responses are positively correlated, we will select for high activity and low predator response. Generation by line responses to selection will be presented here. (Evolve Crickets)
Interesting new cricket papers from around the world:
The Geometry of Nutrient Space–Based Life-History Trade-Offs: Sex-Specific Effects of Macronutrient Intake on the Trade-Off between Encapsulation Ability and Reproductive Effort in Decorated Crickets. 2018. American Naturalist.