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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Crickets: cute body structure

  • The ears of a cricket are located on the front legs, just below the knee.
  • While crickets have wings, the majority of them do not fly.
  • Spiders, some wasps, ground beetles, birds, small rodents and lizards are cricket predators.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Suborder: Ensifera
Superfamily: Grylloidea
Family: Gryllidae

Crickets have long antennae and hind legs adapted for jumping; organs for hearing are located on their front legs. Solitary by day, crickets remain in crevices, under rocks, or in shallow burrows dug in the soil, emerging at night to feed on plants.
Crickets are omnivores and scavengers feeding on organic materials, as well as decaying plant material, fungi, and some seedling plants. Crickets also have been known to eat their own dead when there is no other source of food available. If left unchecked in houses, especially in large numbers, they will cause damage to clothing and other fabrics. They also have been known to feed on other insects, as in the smaller ones that live among ants.

Crickets do not rub their hind legs together to chirp. The left forewing of the male has a thick rib (a modified vein) which bears 50 to 300 ridges. The chirp (which only male crickets can do) is generated 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 four types of cricket song: The calling song attracts females and repels other males, and is fairly loud. The courting song is used when a female cricket is near, and is a very quiet song. An aggressive song is triggered by chemoreceptors on the antennae that detect the near presence of another male cricket and a copulatory song is produced for a brief period after successful deposition of sperm on the female's eggs.

The Cricket wings are often too small to be of any use and lie useless across the back. Most get about by jumping from place to place, and through time, have developed legs
that are built for jumping at great heights when put in comparison to their size. Crickets vary in size from specie to specie, with most being in the range of ½” to 1”. One species that appears to clean up after ants in the ant’s own house is smaller than ¼’. The common house cricket is usually on the smaller end, most often not being much over the ½” range. As their name suggests, these are most commonly found around and inside houses.


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