We introduce an inexpensive electronic technique for monitoring the temporal aspects of any captive animal's acoustic signals. The electronic apparatus, attached to a data acquisition unit and personal computer, compares microphone output to a pre-set level and stores calling/non-calling data to disk. Total time calling and temporal signaling patterns of up to 256 individuals can be monitored for indefinite lengths of time. Sampling rate is adjustable, with a maximum rate of 6 samples/microphone/second. The capabilities of the system are illustrated with the field cricket Gryllus integer. Temporal aspects of acoustic signaling are discussed in terms of monitoring time scale and recognition of individual variation, energetics research, and hypothesis testing of the costs and benefit,: associated with mating success and predation.
temporal, calling, patterns, electronic, technique