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  • 1.
    Javal, Marion
    et al.
    Stellenbosch Univ, South Africa.
    Le Moëne, Olivia
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Neurobiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Smit, Chantelle
    Stellenbosch Univ, South Africa.
    Conlong, Desmond E.
    Stellenbosch Univ, South Africa; African Sugarcane Res Inst, South Africa.
    Terblanche, John S.
    Stellenbosch Univ, South Africa.
    A preliminary assessment of the physiological and morphological correlates of beetle aggression in an emerging sugarcane pest, Cacosceles newmannii ( Thomson, 1877) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)2022In: African Entomology, ISSN 1021-3589, E-ISSN 2224-8854, Vol. 30, article id e10928Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding the morphological and physiological correlates of competitive behaviours can provide important insights into the ecology of competition, home range size and resource consumption. Here we first estimated and defined sexual dimorphism in a poorly studied African cerambycid species, Cacosceles newmannii (Thomson, 1877). We then assessed morphological and physiological attributes of male beetles in relation to their fighting behaviour. Suites of morphological and energetic measurements were carried out on adult males, the latter before and after male-male interactions. Aggressive behaviour and the outcomes of male fighting trials were assessed under controlled conditions. The species is highly sexually dimorphic in relation to mandible size. During male-male interactions, a continuum of behaviours with an increasing risk of injury and metabolic cost was observed. Grasping was prolonged in males with larger fighting apparatus, who also tended to use more energy during the encounter than males displaying other behaviours. Our results indicate that the mandible size in C. newmannii serves as an honest signal of fighting ability in this species. Additionally, energetic assessments in preparation for fighting, costs during a fight, and persistence of metabolic costs postfighting may be useful for understanding the relative fitness costs of competition.

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  • 2.
    Le Moëne, Olivia
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Neurobiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Larsson, Max
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Neurobiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    A New Tool for Quantifying Mouse Facial Expressions2023In: eNeuro, E-ISSN 2373-2822, Vol. 10, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Facial expressions are an increasingly used tool to assess emotional experience and affective state during ex-perimental procedures in animal models. Previous studies have successfully related specific facial features with different positive and negative valence situations, most notably in relation to pain. However, characteriz-ing and interpreting such expressions remains a major challenge. We identified seven easily visualizable facial parameters on mouse profiles, accounting for changes in eye, ear, mouth, snout and face orientation. We monitored their relative position on the face across time and throughout sequences of positive and aversive gustatory and somatosensory stimuli in freely moving mice. Facial parameters successfully captured response profiles to each stimulus and reflected spontaneous movements in response to stimulus valence, as well as contextual elements such as habituation. Notably, eye opening was increased by palatable tastants and innoc-uous touch, while this parameter was reduced by tasting a bitter solution and by painful stimuli. Mouse ear posture appears to convey a large part of emotional information. Facial expressions accurately depicted wel-fare and affective state in a time-sensitive manner, successfully correlating time-dependent stimulation. This study is the first to delineate rodent facial expression features in multiple positive valence situations, including in relation to affective touch. We suggest using this facial expression assay might provide mechanistic insights into emotional expression and improve the translational value of experimental studies in rodents on pain and other states.

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