The sound of crickets chirping on a warm summer evening is familiar to most people. While most cricket species sing predominantly at night, some chirp both during the day and at night.
Chirping is an important aspect of a cricket’s arsenal of communication. Despite the fact that the sound is fairly prevalent, especially in rural regions, few people are aware of the cause of this insect’s behavior. We’ll take a closer look at this action in this piece.
Some Interesting Facts About Crickets
In ancient China and Japan, crickets were regarded as emblems of good fortune and respect. The insects were kept in gold cages, where their delightful chirping could be heard.
Cricket gets its name from the French term ‘criquer,’ which means small cracker.’ The chirping of crickets in your yard or garden can be a very pleasant sound on a calm night.
If the insect has invaded your home and is disrupting your sleep, the same chirping can make you enraged. Chirping, on the other hand, is an essential part of a cricket’s life cycle. Scent, touch, and sound are the primary means of communication, with sound being the most common.
How They Chirp
Crickets do not all have the ability to chirp, and among those that can, only the males are capable of doing so. Crickets don’t make chirping sounds using their legs, contrary to popular belief.
They do it by flapping their wings. Their wings have a grooved pattern on the sides. Above the grooves, they have a jagged edge. Chirping sounds are produced when the grooved sides of the wings rub against each other.
Stridulation is the term for this action. Although this song can be made with either wing, most males choose to use their right wings over their left. Female crickets do not chirp because their anatomy is different.
Let’s see what is the purpose of this behavior.
Why Do They Chirp
Because crickets are primarily nocturnal, you will most likely hear them chirping at night; nevertheless, you may hear them chirping during the day. The cricket’s chirping sound is beneficial to it in a variety of ways.
Male crickets use their chirping skills largely to make mating calls. The ladies can locate the males by hearing their loud chirps at night.
After that, there is a gentler wooing song, and then the mating commences. After successfully mating, the males sing another song to keep the female close by and prevent her from mating with another man.
The male cricket serenades the female in the same way that birds do, and the best chirping male usually gets the girl.
Female crickets prefer the quick, high-pitched chirps of younger males over the languid, low-pitched chirps of older males, according to research. Crickets come in over 900 different species.
Females, on the other hand, can recognize the chirp of males of the same species among all other males.
Male crickets excavate and reside in underground shelters with megaphone-like openings that amplify and efficiently transmit the song across greater distances.
Males employ a different tone and frequency of chirping than the mating call to warn other males to leave their territory. Crickets tend to avoid physical confrontations, therefore this is an excellent tactic.
Despite the importance of mating and territorial sounds, being so loud has a price. Predators are typically attracted to the sound of crickets and consume them.
One of the reasons crickets don’t chirp as much during the day is because of this. Crickets have acquired an incredible skill of ventriloquism to keep predators away at night.
They have the ability to make themselves appear as though their chirps are originating from somewhere else.
Crickets have the ability to chirp at over 100 decibels, which can be utilized to shock or distract predators, allowing them to flee. These sounds are occasionally used to alert others to any threat the cricket detects nearby.
At Higher Temperatures, They Chirp More
Crickets have been observed to chirp faster on warm evenings than on cold nights. In fact, cricket sounds are virtually always heard in the summer, but they are extremely rare in the winter. But why is this the case? Let’s have a look.
First and foremost, crickets are cold-blooded creatures. As a result, they become more active as the temperature rises.
As the temperature rises, they can rub their wings together more frequently. Crickets chirped seven times more in controlled circumstances as the temperature rose by one degree Celsius.
Their Chirping Attracts Insects
Finding a mate necessitates the use of chirping. However, there is a hidden danger in this sound. The sound attracts little parasitic flies known as Ormia ochracea.
The flies deposit their larvae on male crickets, which burrow into their bodies. These larvae feed on the organs for 7-10 days before pulling themselves free and murdering the helpless cricket.
To combat this, certain cricket species have evolved groove-free wings, which make it impossible for them to make any sound.
These crickets are more mobile and rely on pheromones to find their mates. Other species avoid singing in the fall and only sing in the spring because parasitic insects are only present in the fall.
In order to avoid parasites, female crickets are more eager to mate in the spring and more hesitant to mate in the fall.
The crickets’ chirping provided some fascinating information. These insects are fascinating to study, and you may wish to keep one as a pet if you enjoy listening to their tunes.
Please let us know your comments and experiences!