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Crickets Courting, Mating & Laying Eggs

10-10-14 cricket  003In late summer and autumn, crickets court by rubbing their forewings together, a practice referred to as stridulation. At the base of each forewing is a specialized vein with a series of hard “teeth,” or ridges – the “stridulatory file.” Only one is fully functional, and in crickets, it is usually the one on the left wing. On the inner, lower edge of the right forewing is the “scraper,” a sharp, hard projection that rubs against the file when the cricket opens and closes its wings during stridulation. In most species,it is the male crickets that “sing,” but both sexes have “ears,” or tympana, on their front legs. After mating, the female cricket deposits her eggs in the soil or in plant tissue, depending on the species. (Photo: female field cricket- note long ovipositor at tip of abdomen between the two sensory organs called cerci, which is lacking in male crickets)

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5 responses

  1. susan kahn

    Mary, We love your daily columns. So informative. We have a good picture of a walking stick that visited us recently. We would like to send it to you . Perhaps you’d want to use in in your column. We cannot find your email address. If you’re interested let us know.

    Susan Kahn and Chris Rollins , Plainfield, NH

    October 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    • Hi Susan,
      I would love to see your walking stick photograph! Thank you so much for offering to send it to me. My email address is mholland@vermontel.net. I find them not the easiest subject to photograph!

      October 9, 2014 at 12:35 pm

  2. I’m not sure if most female crickets can “sing” and think that most species actually do not. What species found around New England have both sexes that sing? In addition to the long ovipositor, male cricket wings look more crinkly also. Thank you.

    October 9, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    • You are right, the females of most species do not “sing,” but in some species they do. I cannot tell you which species in New England have male and female singers, but perhaps you can ferret out that information in Capinera’s Grasshoppers, Katydids and Crickets of the U.S. Both males and females have tympana which allow them to hear airborne sounds.

      October 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm

  3. It’s one of my favorite ‘songs’ in the wild. Going to sleep to the sound of crickets is wonderful. 🙂

    October 10, 2014 at 12:52 am

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