Skip to main content

Data from: Self-recognition in crickets via on-line processing

Cite this dataset

Capodeanu-Nägler, Alexandra et al. (2015). Data from: Self-recognition in crickets via on-line processing [Dataset]. Dryad.


Self-referent phenotype matching, the ability of animals to use aspects of their own phenotype as a referent in discrimination decisions, is believed to play a significant role in nepotistic interactions and mate choice in a wide range of taxa [1]. An individual’s ability to assess the similarity between its own phenotype and that of the individuals it encounters can provide a reliable measure of relatedness, thereby facilitating inbreeding avoidance, optimal outbreeding or altruistic behavior towards kin 2 and 3. Although self-referencing is believed to be widespread, definitive evidence is scarce and its role in recognition controversial, in part, because of the difficulty in ruling out early exposure to close kin and the possibility that individuals imprint on maternal cues early in their ontogeny, either during birth or via cues encountered upon hatching from eggs 1 and 4. An equally important, yet unanswered question is whether individuals that perform self-referencing imprint on their own traits at an early stage, relying on this memorized template in subsequent interactions, or whether no memory is formed but individuals use their own phenotype directly in comparison with other individuals (i.e., ‘on-line processing’) [3]. Finally, animals may possess ‘recognition alleles’, in which both the phenotypic cues and the knowledge of the cues have a genetic basis [5]. Here we show in the decorated cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus, that female mate choice can be manipulated by experimentally altering a female’s own olfactory cues. We found exclusive evidence both for the existence of a chemosensory self-referencing mechanism and that females do not rely on an innate or early learned template but rather directly use their own phenotypic cues in comparison.

Usage notes