Money Matters - Simplified

Cameras study the secret life of crickets

Exeter, England -- Female crickets preferred big males over smaller males in a British study that filmed 152 field crickets for 250,000 hours, scientists said.

Scientists from the University of Exeter used 96 video cameras to record field crickets -- Gryllus campestris -- during a breeding season in a meadow in Asturias in northern Spain, The Times of London reported Friday.

The footage showed females chose big males over smaller males, with some pairs of crickets often having sex as much as 40 times before parting ways.

Females also slipped away from their regular partners to find other males and had more more offspring when they were promiscuous, the researchers said in a recent issue of the journal Science.

The 152 crickets were tagged with identifying codes and DNA samples were taken.

"The cricket soap opera is a model of the life struggles of so many species," said lead researcher Tom Tregenza. "Insects are far more important than larger animals to ecosystems but we have only very sketchy details about their lives."

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI)

No votes yet