A-z - Animals

cricket

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Fried crickets are a delicacy in Thailand.

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Crickets are among the noisiest insects on earth. The male voice that fills the air on spring and summer nights may be soothing to some, but annoying to others. The purpose of the song is to attract a potential mate or to repel rival males. Many people confuse them with grasshoppers, but in reality, they are only distant relatives.

4 Unbelievable Facts!

  • Male crickets chirp by rubbing their wings together (grasshoppers rub their legs together). The soft, leathery vocal organs are located directly on the forewing and rub against about 50 to 250 rows of teeth on the opposite forewing.
  • The exact frequency of the sound depends on how many teeth are struck, ranging from 1,500 to 10,000 times per second.
  • Crickets are especially amazing at jumping. It can leap several feet into the air, an impressive feat considering its small size. The wings also provide very limited flight over a small area.
  • In many cultures, crickets are considered a symbol of good luck and wealth. Some people keep them as pets, but they are also used for exercise. Cricket fighting is a traditional Chinese custom that dates back more than a thousand years.

scientific name

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Crickets are one of many species of crickets that are darker in color and smaller in size.

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Crickets belong to the class Insecta, order Orthoptera, suborders Ensifera, Infraorder Gryllidea and Superfamily Grylloidea. The superfamily Grylloidea was once considered just one family, but scientists have now changed that classification. The name comes from the Latin gryllus, meaning cricket. However, there are many related species, including scaly spiders and many insects with "cricket" in their name (e.g., mole cricket, camel cricket, Jerusalem cricket), which are not considered "true" crickets, but they are There are many similarities. In total, there are about 2,400 known species. The most common true cricket in Europe is the house cricket ( Acheta domesticus ).

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appearance

Identification is fairly simple. Crickets are relatively large insects with bulky, tubular bodies that can reach an inch or two in length. Important features include six very long legs (each containing three joints), two long antennae protruding from the head, and two sensory appendages (called tails) on the back of the abdomen. The last pair of legs are extra long to help with jumping.



Most species are capable of at least some rudimentary flight, but some ground crickets cannot fly at all. The wings are mainly used to attract mates. The vast majority of species are brown and black, but some are covered in green and red. Nymphs look like smaller, undeveloped versions of full adults.

The most distinctive feature of the cricket is its long, three-jointed legs.

©iStock.com/Petr Ganaj

Habitat

Crickets are found in almost every habitat in the world except the extreme north and south. They spend most of the day hiding in crevices, leaves, bark, stones and logs, and then often emerge at night. Mole crickets use their mole-shaped hands to burrow in the ground.

predator and prey

Crickets are eaten by many predators, including spiders, lizards, geckos, turtles, frogs, birds, small mammals, other insects, and even fungi. Some parasitic insects will prey on crickets by placing their legs on them. Once the larvae hatch, they eat the whole cricket while still alive. Camouflage provides some protection against most predators. If that fails, then they usually try to hide in tight crevices.

Crickets are omnivorous insects, but they eat mostly plants. Some species eat fruits, leaves, flowers, grasses, seeds, fungi, and other organic matter. Other predatory species also eat insects and other invertebrates.

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Reproduction and Lifespan

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Both male and female crickets have a special auditory organ on their front legs that allows them to hear chirps.

© iStock.com/PetrP

Male crickets chirp to attract mates. Both male and female crickets have a special auditory organ on their front legs that allows them to hear chirps.

During mating, the male cricket transfers sperm (protein capsules containing sperm) through the female's genital opening into a single sperm bank. The female will then lay her eggs through a long needle-like organ called an ovipositor.

Crickets go through three distinct stages: egg, nymph, and adult. In fall, the female lays her eggs in the soil or in plant stems along the ground. After hatching in the spring, the nymphs gradually grow in size after each of 6 to 12 molts. The normal lifespan of an adult is only a few months.

prevention

Crickets generally do not pose an immediate threat to people, but their digging in the soil can sometimes cause some damage to lawns and gardens. Field and indoor crickets can also hide in homes and buildings when the outside temperature drops. To remove them from your property, you should apply some insecticide according to the directions on the package. Applying a mixture of dish soap and water to the soil may cause mole crickets hiding in the ground to surface. Keeping your lawn mowed, gutters or standing water, removing any debris and repairing any holes in your home will help prevent pest infestation.

To deal with a pest infestation in your home, there are a few things you can do. You can spray insecticide on window sills and corners of your home (but you'll need to wait for the spray to dry before letting children and pets into the room). For another non-toxic solution, you can apply a substance called diamond earth to the baseboards and walls of your home. Finally, you can place baits and traps in areas where insects are found. While many stores do sell traps, you can also make your own natural bait by placing a small amount of molasses in a shallow bowl partially filled with water. A cricket may be tempted to jump into a bowl where it will drown. Fortunately, crickets are fairly benign insects that don't cause too many problems.

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See all 228 animals that start with C

Crickets are large jumping insects that also make loud chirps. Some of the most common types include field and indoor cricket.

No, they are not dangerous, but they can cause some minor damage to the soil.

Like all other insects, it has six legs. The last pair are particularly large and reinforced to aid in jumping.

Identification is not difficult. The usual features of this insect are a long, tubular body, long antennae, and outstretched hind legs. Most species have a basic set of wings to aid in flight and attract mates. If the insect jumps into the air, it may be an indication that you are dealing with a cricket.

Insecticides, traps, baits, and nontoxic chemical treatments are usually the best ways to get rid of them.

Males vocalize naturally at night, and it can be difficult to stop them without cleaning the entire vicinity with insecticide. If the sounds are emanating from your home, then you should follow the instructions mentioned earlier to eliminate them.

The largest species is the bull cricket, which is about 2 inches long.

They are almost completely harmless to humans.

Field and indoor crickets seek shelter in warm buildings when the outside temperature drops. Sealing any holes and dealing with debris or standing water outside is an important part of prevention.

This is because they are actually nocturnal animals. They sleep during the day and come out at night. Some species do make vocalizations during the day, but this is less common.