Crickets, family Gryllidae (also known as "true crickets"), are insects somewhat related to grasshoppers and more closely related to katydids or bush crickets (family Tettigoniidae). They have somewhat flattened bodies and long antennae. There are about 900 species of crickets. They tend to be nocturnal and are often confused with grasshoppers because they have a similar body structure including jumping hind legs.
Cricket chirping[change | change source]
Crickets are known for their chirp (which only male crickets can do; male wings have ridges or "teeth" that act like a "comb and file" instrument). The left forewing has a thick rib (a modified vein) which bears 50 to 300 "teeth". The chirp is made by raising their left forewing to a 45 degree angle and rubbing it against the upper hind edge of the right forewing, which has a thick scraper (Berenbaum 1995). This sound producing action is called "stridulation" and the song is species-specific. There are two types of cricket songs: a calling song and a courting song. The calling song attracts females and repels other males, and is fairly loud.
Jurassic chirp reconstructed[change | change source]
Night-time in the Jurassic included the sound of chirping bush crickets. This is according to scientists who have reconstructed the song of a cricket that chirped 165 million years ago. "A remarkably complete fossil of the prehistoric insect enabled the team to see the structures in its wings that rubbed together to make the sound".
References[change | change source]
Other websites[change | change source]
- Intro on house crickets
- How to raise your own crickets
- Crickets in the Classroom drawings and activities
- The cricket suicide (video)
- Singing Insects of North America An online field guide
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