FunWhat do crickets say when they sing 'cri, cri'?

What do crickets say when they sing 'cri, cri'?

Crickets are a family of orthopteran insects (which comes from the Greek ορθός or orthós, “straight, straight”, and from πτερον or pteron, which means “wings”). They are related to grasshoppers, but they jump less than grasshoppers even though their legs are adapted for it. In return, they can run across the ground quickly.

Cricket behavior consists of digging a burrow in the ground : a gallery that can measure up to fifty centimeters. The burrow is a very important element for male crickets, not only because of the protection it offers them; but also because it is at their entrance where they sing to attract females.

This discovery was made by researchers at the University of Bristol, in the United Kingdom. Male crickets use their repetitive song to attract potential mates ; Furthermore, the more energetic the trova, the larger the cricket.

And how do they make this characteristic “cri cri”? In this case, the tenors do not need to tune their throat: it is enough to rub their wings causing them to produce a resonant and intense vibration.

Although we are used to hearing their song every time we go out into the field, it is difficult to establish the location of a cricket. The reason is that the wavelength of the song is similar to the distance between the two human ears. For its part, the female captures this sound thanks to the fact that it has a kind of eardrums , like most insects of the Orthoptera family.

The sound is used for the females to locate the males and allows them to discern if it is a large individual. In a way, the message they send out is: “I am here and I am great.” In this case, size does matter because larger males are better at seeking resources in the wild.

Cricket in its burrow / iStock.

But the edge does not only depend on the size. Tiny, almost transparent and very rare tree crickets are capable of changing the pitch of their song with temperature.

One of the species, the Oecanthus henryi, sings with a high, screeching pitch of 3.6 kilohertz (kHz) when the temperature is 27 degrees Celsius , while that same song becomes a deep bass of 2.3 kHz if the temperature is 18 degrees.

For more data: as the wings of these insects lengthen, the frequency and amplitude of the different modes of vibration get closer and begin to merge with each other. The frequency of the song of these animals is not related to their size, but to the speed at which the tree cricket is able to move its wings.

Because they are cold-blooded animals, the temperature influences their activity, so they have more energy and sing faster and with a higher frequency as the temperature increases. Therefore, the cricket’s song also contains weather information: the higher it is, the hotter it is.

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