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Title: Preferential predation of cool season grass seed by the common cricket (Acheta domesticus)

item Williams, Robert
item Bartholomew, Paul

Submitted to: Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2011
Publication Date: 2/7/2011
Citation: Williams, R.D., Bartholomew, P.W. 2011. Preferential predation of cool season grass seed by the common cricket (Acheta domesticus). Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts. 4(79) [Abstract].

Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only.

Technical Abstract: To determine if there might be a seed predation preference among forage grasses a laboratory study was conducted using the common cricket (Acheta domesticus L.). Six cool-season grasses were selected and feeding studies were conducted over a three day period. The study was designed as a randomized complete block and repeated in time to provide six replications. Overall average consumption of cool-season grass seed was 77%. Among the cool-season grasses timothy (Phleum pratense L.), Kentucky bluegrass, and orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata L.) had the greatest predation (96 to 100%). Predation was related to seed size with the smaller seeds being consumed in greater numbers than the larger seeds. One could hypothesize that the greater consumption of the smaller seed was due to more seed being required to provide the same caloric intake of a fewer larger seed. To see if there might be selective predation a series of feeding trials were performed where the crickets were provide with single grass seed or a combination of seeds of two different grass species. Preliminary results indicated that there was no difference between tall fescue and Italian ryegrass predation when seed were provided separately. However, when seeds of both grasses were offered there was a preference for the tall fescue seed as expressed in more seed being consumed. This preference did not appear to be due to seed size. When Italian ryegrass was paired with orchard grass, a much smaller seed, the predation of smaller orchard grass seed was much greater than that of the ryegrass. Other preferences among the other species examined will be provided.