Data from: When the mean no longer matters: developmental diet affects behavioral variation but not population averages in the house cricket (Acheta domesticus)
Royauté, Raphaël; Dochtermann, Ned A. (2016), Data from: When the mean no longer matters: developmental diet affects behavioral variation but not population averages in the house cricket (Acheta domesticus), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nv835
Despite recent progress in elucidating the genetic basis for behavioral variation, the effects of the developmental environment on the maintenance and generation of behavioral variation across multiple traits remain poorly resolved. We investigated how nutritional status during development affected behavioral variation and covariance between activity in an open field test and response to cues of predator presence in the house cricket (Acheta domesticus). We provided 98 juvenile crickets with either a high or low quality diet during development, throughout which we measured body mass, activity in a modified open-field, and response to predator excreta twice every week for 3 weeks. Diet quality affected growth rate but not average activity or response to cues of predator presence, nor the correlation between the 2. However, repeatability (τ) in response to cues of predator presence was reduced by 0.24 in individuals exposed to the high quality diet versus the low quality diet. Larger individuals also increased their response to predator cues when reared on a high quality diet, suggesting negative feedbacks between growth rate and antipredator behaviors. Our results also indicate that changes in the developmental environment are not sufficient to collapse behavioral syndromes, suggesting a genetic link between activity and predator cue response in house crickets, and that nutritional stress early in life can lead to more consistent behavioral responses when individuals faced predatory threats. Our results demonstrate that subtle differences in the quality of the environment experienced early in life can influence how individuals negotiate behavioral and life-history trade-offs later in life.