Response Properties of the Prothoracic AN2 Auditory Interneurone to Model Calling Songs in the Cricket Gryllus bimaculatus

Document Type


Publication Date



AN2 interneurone, Call recognition, Neuronal filtering, Selective phonotaxis


Sound processing properties for calling song (CS) models, as described for the prothoracic L3 auditory neurone in Acheta domesticus, are investigated for the homologous auditory neurone 2 (AN2) in female Gryllus bimaculatus De Geer. AN2 of G. bimaculatus responds selectively to the syllable period (SP) of models of a male CS. The selectiveness of this response parallels the selectivity of phonotaxis females perform in response to the same SPs. Both, the responses of AN2 and female behaviour show clear interindividual variability. The SP-selective responses of AN2 result from an SP-dependent reduction in the spiking to subsequent syllables of the model CSs, measured as the percentage decrement. This SP-dependent response does not primarily result from inbuilt properties of the AN2 membrane. Rather, it is dependent on inhibitory input to the AN2. However, clear inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in dendritic recordings of the AN2 are not encountered. This immediate response of AN2 to CSs is followed by an increased rate of tonic firing between stimulus CSs, which is termed the prolonged response, and is dependent on the carrier frequencies that make up the male CSs. With stimulation on the contralateral side of the soma of AN2s, more than 50% of AN2s exhibit a prolonged response. However, with stimulation from the ipsilateral side of the soma, most AN2s exhibit a prolonged response. The prolonged response of AN2 at 5 kHz may be even more sensitive than the immediate response. Thus, the AN2 neurone could provide a basis for phonotaxis that is selective for both the SPs and the carrier frequencies of potentially attractive calling songs. © 2011 The Authors. Physiological Entomology © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

Journal Title

Physiological Entomology





First Page


Last Page




First Department