The skinny on the “Cricket Chorus”

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As the temperatures have slowly cooled off, have you noticed an uptick in crickets and cricket ‘chirping’? We have, too.

Though crickets – often confused with their distance cousins – the grasshopper, sleep by day and tend to make their way at night, their existence tends to become more apparent in the Fall season.

Why, you may ask?

Here’s the skinny on the ‘Cricket Chorus’ …

Did you know that typically, only the male crickets make that ‘chirping” sound, although some females have been known to do it as well?

The sound you hear is made by a large vein which runs along the bottom of each of the cricket’s wings, which are covered with what are called ‘teeth’ – which would resemble a comb. Despite the myth that crickets ‘chirp’ by running its legs together, the male of the species actually hold their wings up as well as open, so they therefore reverberate the sound.

But there has to be a natural use for the cricket ‘chirping’, right?

The answer is yes. The “calling song” as it is referred to, works to attract females while detracting other males. This can be a very loud chirp.

Once a female near, the chirping make quiets its tone, which is knows as courting.

Two other types of chirping “songs” are also produced when another male breaches its territory (a more aggressive tone), as well as one that is heard following successful mating.

Did you also know that crickets also chirp at rates dependent upon the temperature of their environment?

A cricket’s chirping cadence rises as the temperature rises as well. Because they are cold-blooded, when the temperature falls, so do their bodies’ functions, thus the rate of chirping.

A cool cricket fact:

If you can count the number of cricket chirps in 14 seconds and then add the number 40, you should get the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, where you are.

While the “Cricket Chorus” may run rampant for a few weeks, have no fear’; as most adults cannot survive the harshness of Winter and will perish. However, their eggs will survive and will hatch in late Spring.




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