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Mate-searching context of prey influences the predator-prey space race: Mate search and predator-prey space race

Torsekar, VR and Thaker, M (2020) Mate-searching context of prey influences the predator-prey space race: Mate search and predator-prey space race. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287 (1935).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.1462


Predation risk is a strong driver of prey distribution and movement. However, fitness-influencing behaviours, such as mating, can alter risk and influence predator-prey space-use dynamics. In tree crickets, Oecanthus henryi, mate searching involves acoustic signalling by immobile males and phonotactic movement by females. Space-use patterns in tree crickets relative to their primary predators, green lynx spiders (Peucetia viridans), should therefore depend on their current mate-searching state; whether males are calling or non-calling and whether females are phonotactic or non-phonotactic. We first measured the degree of spatial anchoring of crickets to specific bushes in the field and determined whether that influenced the probability of broad-scale spatial overlap with spiders. In the absence of spiders, all crickets, independent of sex or male calling status, were found to be spatially anchored to specific types of bushes and not uniformly distributed on the landscape. At the broad spatial scale, spiders were more likely to be found on bushes with female crickets and, to a lesser degree, calling male crickets. At a finer spatial scale within a bush, movement strategies of crickets not only varied depending on the presence or absence of a spider, but also on their current mate-searching state. Phonotactic females showed clear predator avoidance, whereas calling and non-calling males moved towards the spider instead of away, similar to predator inspection behaviour seen in many taxa. As the strongly selected sex, males are more likely to undertake risky mate-searching activities, which includes inspection of predator positions. Overall, we found that all crickets were predictably anchored at the landscape scale, but their sex and mate-seeking behaviour influenced the degree of overlap with predators and their antipredator movement strategies. Reproductive strategies within a prey species, therefore, can alter predator-prey space race at multiple spatial scales. © 2020 The Author(s).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Publisher: Royal Society Publishing
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to The Author(s).
Keywords: avoidance reaction; cricket; fitness; mate choice; predation risk; predator-prey interaction; space use; spider, Araneae; Gryllidae; Oecanthus; Oxyopidae, animal; female; Gryllidae; male; mate choice; predation; reproduction; spider, Animals; Female; Gryllidae; Male; Mating Preference, Animal; Predatory Behavior; Reproduction; Spiders
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2023 05:33
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2023 05:33
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/79091

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