Animal behaviour studies have begun to incorporate the influence of the social environment, providing new opportunities for studying signal strategies and evolution. We examined how the presence and sex of an audience influenced aggression and victory display behaviour in field-captured and laboratoryreared field crickets (Gryllus veletis). Audience type, rearing environment and their interaction were important predictors in all model sets. Thus, audience type may impose different costs and benefits for competing males depending on whether they are socially experienced or not. Our results suggest that field-captured winners, in particular, dynamically adjust their contest behaviour to potentially gain a reproductive benefit via female eavesdropping and may deter future aggression from rivals by advertising their aggressiveness and victories.

Aggression, Audience effect, Victory display
dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2013.0449
Biology Letters
Department of Biology

Fitzsimmons, L.P. (Lauren P.), & Bertram, S.M. (2013). Playing to an audience: The social environment influences aggression and victory displays. Biology Letters, 9(4). doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.0449