Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Benjamin Navia


To study phonotaxis in crickets a trackball system has been traditionally used, which consists of a spherical, air supported styrofoam ball placed in a soundproof container in which crickets are tethered to. Two computer mice detect its movement. A speaker is at one end of the container, and it is connected to a computer which generates calls with pre-set parameters. Once a cricket is attached to the trackball system, it can freely navigate toward the source of the sound, while the styrofoam ball remains stationary.

This apparatus has been used to measure the walking distance and angular orientation. When evaluating phonotaxis, two parameters have been used to determine a positive response; i) the distance traveled toward the source of a sound is twice that of the distance away and ii) the path of travel towards the sound is within a ±60º angle. These parameters, established years ago, are widely accepted. The latter parameter, however, may not accurately describe the quality of phonotaxis of a given animal. This research assesses the angular orientation of phonotaxis in female crickets by further exploring the significance of the ±60º parameter; looking at its variation and what it could elucidate in terms of the quality of tracking.

Subject Area

Crickets--Effect of sound on; Crickets--Behavior

Included in

Biology Commons