The frequency of chirping
varies according to temperature. To get a rough estimate of the
temperature in degrees fahrenheit, count the number of chirps in
15 seconds and then add 37. The number you get will be an approximation
of the outside temperature.
So, how do crickets make
that chirping sound?
Usually, the males are
the "singers." The male cricket rubs a scraper (a sharp
ridge on his wing) against a series of wrinkles, or "files",
on the other wing. The tone of the chirping depends upon the distance
between the wrinkles.
There are several reasons
why crickets chirp. They may be:
Calling to attract a female with a a loud and monotonous sound
a nearby female with a quick, softer chirp
aggressively during the encounter of two males
a danger alert when sensing trouble
Crickets are part of
the family Orthoptera (grasshoppers and katydids).
Want to learn more about
Insects? The Iowa State
Entomology Index of Internet Resources is a directory and search
engine of insect related resources on the Internet.
- BioKids: Crickets - BioKids: Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species provides information, pictures, and classification of crickets. - Web site description
- CricketRadio: Tuning in the Nightsinging Insects by John Himmelman -
This website provides information about the book Cricket Radio and its author John Himmelman, along with a sample of cricket sound recordings . For more cricket sound bites see Harvard University Press Create Your Own Cricket Radio http://www.hup.harvard.edu/features/himcri/
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Cricket
Converter - You can enter in the number of chirps and
the system will calculate the temperature.
Insects of North America
- "The primary goal
of Singing Insects of North America is to enable
to identify crickets, katydids, and cicadas from America
north of Mexico". Some of the pages are under
construction, however, there is plenty of information
researchers. The site provides classification information
for identifying crickets, katydids, and cicadas,
about their songs, and references.
Melvin. Chirping crickets. New York, Harper Collins,
c.1998. 32. p. (Juvenile Literature)
Vincent Gaston. Crickets and katydids, concerts and solos.
Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1992. 140 p.
Jacques R. How to know the grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches
and their allies. New York, Dover. 1987. 363 p. (enlarged
republication of the second edition:1972)
Sylvia A. Chirping insects. Minneapolis, Lerner Pub.,
1986. 47 p. (Juvenile Literature)
more print resources...
Search on "cricket,"
"chirping insect," or "chirping cricket"
in the Library of Congress Online
an Male (right) crickets
Image by Jim Mason. From the Great
Plains Nature Center web site.
Photo from The Animal Welfare Information Center Web site.
Snowy Tree Cricket at Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico. From the Nationa Park Service Web site.