- "I caught a cricket! That's a sticky wicket, isn't it?"
An information board in the bug exhibit will provide information about this bug.
"The chirping sound you often hear from male crickets is emitted by the stridulation of their wings. Crickets' ears are located just below the middle joint of each front leg. While this seems odd to us, it helps them easily pinpoint where various sounds are coming from."
The Field Cricket can grow to 15-25 mm in size, and can be black, red or brown in color. They hatch in spring, and the nymphs eat and grow rapidly. They eat a broad range of feeds: seeds, plants, or insects (dead or alive). They are known to feed on grasshopper eggs, pupae of moths and butterflies, and flies. Occasionally they may rob spiders of their prey. They molt eight or more times before they become adults.
Females can be identified by the presence of an ovipositor, a spike-like appendage, about 19 mm long, on the hind end of the abdomen between two cerci. This ovipositor allows the female to bury her fertilized eggs into the ground for protection and development. However, males will only have the two cerci. The males are also the only ones able to produce the “chirping” sound. This sound provides an indication of past and present health. Females evaluate each song and move towards the one they prefer. When the male senses a female is near, he will produce a softer courting song. After mating, the female will search for a place to lay her eggs, preferably in warm, damp soil.