Group Names _____________________________________


Territorial Behavior in Crickets

Materials: 4 male crickets, 1 female cricket, slice of potato (or other food), cardboard, plastic aquarium plants, small aquarium, paint and brushes

1. Gather your crickets from the cricket holding tank, make sure you have 4 males and 1 female - your teacher will tell you how to tell them apart. Use the paint to mark each of the males a different color. Leave the female unmarked.

2. Set up your cricket habitat. Put a potato slice in your aquarium, a folded piece of cardboard (like a tent), and the aquarium plants.

3. Pick one male cricket and observe it for 5 minutes. Write your observations below. Make sure to include where the cricket spent most of its time and any interactions the cricket had with other crickets.

4. Observe ALL the crickets for 10-15 minutes. Among the males, look for territorial or aggressive behavior, this includes chirping, stroking others with antennae, pushing others or jumping on their backs.

For each cricket, tally the number of times it acted aggressively in the chart. For instance, if the blue cricket charged a green cricket near the potato, you would put a tally mark in that box

Locations Where Aggression Was Observed
Cricket color
Potato (Food)

ANALYSIS: Communicate your findings. Where do crickets behave the most aggressively? Why do you think this is so? What is the evolutionary advantage of this behavior?