Are males more scared of predators? Differential change in metabolic rate between males and females under predation risk

Patricio A. Lagos*, Marie E. Herberstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The non-consumptive effects of predation contribute to reduce preys' fitness. In this way, predation imposes a cost to animals, not only through direct consumption, but also as an energetic cost. One way used to estimate this cost in the past has been to measure the production of CO2 to estimate the change in metabolic rate because of predation. It has been proposed that this change is mediated by the insect stress neurohormone octopamine. Here we study the change in metabolic rate of the black field cricket (Teleogryllus commodus), and how the production of CO2 varies when a chemical cue from a sympatric predator is added. We hypothesised that after the addition of a predatory cue, the metabolic rate will increase. Moreover, since the pressure of predation is stronger on females, we propose that females will have a greater increase in the CO2 produce as consequence of the added cues from the predator. Our results confirmed our first hypothesis, showing an almost two-fold increase in CO2 when the predatory cue was added. However, males were the ones that showed a greater increase, in opposition to our second hypothesis. We put these results in the context of the escape theory and, in particular, the “landscape of fear” hypothesis. Also, because the timing between the increase of metabolic rate we measure here and the release of octopamine reported in previous studies do not match, we reject the idea that octopamine causes the increase in metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-115
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume173
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Keywords

  • energetic cost
  • metabolic rate
  • predation cost
  • predation risk
  • sex differences

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