Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Attack of the Mutant Crickets!!!

Today students read a case study about microevolution in a specie of crickets in Hawaii.

"Attack of the flesh-eating parasitoid maggots!! Mutant mute crickets run rampant in tropical paradise!! The headlines may sound like a trailer for a cheap horror flick — but in fact, these sensationalist sound bites accurately describe the situation on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The "flesh-eating parasitoid maggots" are the offspring of the fly, Ormia ochracea, which invaded Hawaii from North America, and the mutant crickets are the flies' would-be victims. The flies follow the chirps of a calling cricket and then deposit a smattering of wriggling maggots onto the cricket's back. The maggots burrow into the cricket, and emerge, much fatter, a week later — killing the cricket in the process. But this fall, biologists Marlene Zuk, John Rotenberry, and Robin Tinghitella announced a breakdown in business-as-usual in this gruesome interaction: in just a few years, the crickets of Kauai have evolved strategy to avoid becoming a maggot's lunch — but the strategy comes at a cost... " Want to read more or see the article with color photos? Click here.

For homework click the PowerPoint and take notes on the four components of microevolution. Use these lines in your packet next to the images for each of the four modes of microevolution.

No comments: