- A-Z Animals
Crickets are primarily known for the distinct chirping noises they make at night. These little creatures come in various colors, have adapted to several different environments, and consume a wide range of foodstuffs.
They are of the same family of insects as grasshoppers and katydids but are classified separately. Their distribution is cosmopolitan and, as a result, has made a significant impact on human culture throughout the world.
There are about 2400 members of cricket species.
Size: They are small-to-medium-sized insects, ranging from 0.12 to 2 inches (3-50 mm). Species of bull crickets are the largest, measuring about 2 inches (5 cm).
Head and eyes: Their heads are spherical, with long antennae, behind which lie two big compound eyes. They even have three simple eyes on their forehead.
Body: Crickets are vertically flat and cylindrically shaped. Their bodies consist of two major segments, excluding the head – the thorax and abdomen. The thorax has a trapezoidal protonum, while the abdomen comprises a long pair of cerci or appendages and a set of strong legs.
Wings: These vary from one species to the other. Some, like field crickets or house crickets, have wings well-suited to flight. Others have wings unsuited to fly for a long distance. While those like the Jerusalem cricket cannot fly at all.
Their ability to fly depends on the size of the forewings and the hindwings – the longer the hindwings, the likelier they are to fly.
Color: They come in shades of gray, brown, yellow, and green. Some even have two or multiple colors, blending into each other, like brown to black or yellow.
Field crickets are dark brown, while tree crickets are pale green or white.
They are found worldwide, except for places at latitudes higher than about 55° North and South.
Crickets live in varied habitats, including tree canopies, bushes, grasses, herbs, on the ground, inside caves, under shallow or deep burrows, and rotting wood.
On average, a cricket lives for 90 days.
Omnivorous by nature, their diet consists of aphids, grasses, flowers, fruits, larvae, leaves, and seeds.
When the mating period starts, males will compete with one another physically using their antennae, mandibles, and limbs. They chirp in a unique tone during this time, to deter competition and attract potential mates. After selecting a partner and going through a courtship period, copulation takes place.
Females lay the eggs either below the soil or in the stems of plants with the help of an ovipositor. The size replicates a rice grain, varying from gray to purplish. Some species, like the short-tailed cricket, feed their larvae regularly after they hatch for about a month.
The cricket is currently not a primary concern for conservation as populations remain steady worldwide.
Crickets chirp for many different reasons – ward off males, attract a mate, and show dominance.
Yes, crickets can bite humans when disturbed or agitated.
Yes, it is considered a symbol of good luck in several countries across the globe.
No, though crickets and grasshoppers are close cousins, they are not the same species. A key distinguishing feature lies in how they produce sound – Crickets do so while rubbing their wings together. On the other hand, grasshoppers chirp by rubbing their hind legs against their wings.