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Anthropogenic noise disrupts mate choice behaviors in female Gryllus bimaculatus

Cite this dataset

Bent, Adam; Ings, Thomas; Mowles, Sophie (2020). Anthropogenic noise disrupts mate choice behaviors in female Gryllus bimaculatus [Dataset]. Dryad.


By assessing the sexual signals produced by conspecifics, individuals can make informed decisions on the best choice of mate, which can lead to reproductive fitness benefits. However, these communication systems are often vulnerable to disruption by conflicting with stimuli present in the environment. Anthropogenic noise may act as one such disruptive stimulus, leading to inefficient mate choice decisions, and thus reductions to an animal’s fitness. In this study, the mate choice behaviors of female Gryllus bimaculatus were tested when presented with artificial male courtship songs of differing ‘quality’ under different acoustic conditions. In ambient noise conditions, females significantly preferred mates paired with higher quality songs, indicated by increased mating rates and reduced latency to mate. However, this mate selection pattern was disrupted in both traffic and white noise conditions. Additionally, ‘high quality’ courtship songs had an increased mounting latency in traffic and white noise conditions, when compared to ambient noise conditions. Making non-optimal mating decisions, such as the ones seen here, can lead to deleterious fitness consequences, alter population dynamics and weaken sexual selection, unless individuals adapt to cope with anthropogenic interference.


Data collected from laboratory based phonotaxis experiments on Gryllus bimaculatus. Behavioural measurements and timings were analyzed using the software B.O.R.I.S.

Usage notes

Variable descirpitions are as follows:

ID = Cricket ID
A_condition = Acoustic Condition
Q_condition = Quality Condition
Date = Date of trial
Time = Time of Trial
Temp = Temperature of testing room
M_size = Width of male pronotum (cm)
F_size = Width of female pronotum (cm)
M_age = Male age (post-ecolsion)
F_age = Female age (post-ecolsion)
M_trial = Ordinal measure of how many trials the male had been used in before
Duration = Duration of whole trial (s)
M_movement = Time until male first moved (s)
F_movement = Time until female first moved (s)
Contact = Time until male and female made contact (s)
Contact_to_court = Time between first contact and male courting behaviour (s)
Courted = Binary measure of wether male courted or not 
Success = Binary measure of wether courtship was successful
Signal_to_mount = Time between start of courtship behaviour and female mounting (s)