Evaluating indices of body condition in two cricket species

Clint D. Kelly, Brittany R. Tawes, Amy M. Worthington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Body mass components (dry mass, lean dry mass, water mass, fat mass) in each sex correlate strongly with body mass and pronotum length in Gryllus texensis and Acheta domesticus. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression underestimates the scaling relationship between body mass and structural size (i.e., pronotum length) in both cricket species compared with standard major axis (SMA) regression. Standardized mass components correlate more strongly with scaled mass index (M^i) than with residual body mass (Ri). Ri represents the residuals from an OLS regression of log body mass against log pronotum length. Neither condition index predicts energy stores (i.e., fat content) in G. texensis. Ri is not correlated with energy stores in A. domesticus whereas M^i is negatively correlated. A comparison of condition index methods using published data showed that neither sex nor diet quality affected body condition at adulthood in G. texensis when using the scaled mass index. However, the residual index suggested that sex had a significant effect on body condition. Further, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) suggested that diet quality significantly affects body mass while statistically controlling for body size (i.e., body condition). We conclude that the statistical assumptions of condition index methods must be met prior to use and urge caution when using methods that are based on least squares in the y-plane (i.e., residual index ANCOVA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4476-4487
Number of pages12
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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