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The search tactics that females might employ to find a suitable mate impose different cognitive demands on searchers and some theoretical models of search behaviour presuppose that females are able to recall encountered males and return to mate with a previously sampled individual. In this study, I exposed female field crickets, Gryllus integer, to male calls either sequentially or simultaneously from two speakers in a three-arm radial maze. Subjects that were exposed to the two calls in sequence and allowed to move to the location of each call returned, in the absence of any audible signal, to the location of the call initially encountered. Subjects allowed to walk to the location of only one of two simultaneously active speakers before playback of both calls was terminated were as likely to move, in the absence of any audible signal, to the never-active speaker as to the location of the other male call. These subjects were also more likely to search all three arms of the maze and searched for a longer time than females exposed to calls sequentially. Thus, female G. integer probably do not construct a spatial representation of the locations of potential mates from the calls of males that advertise concurrently. The results of this study suggest, however, that female G. integer are able to recall previously encountered males under some conditions and may potentially employ a search tactic that is more complicated than a simple instantaneous comparison of the qualities of males that are actively calling. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
Search behaviour and mate choice by female field crickets, Gryllus integer.