Animal stories: Cricekts
Crickets are jumping insects that are similar to grasshoppers but with very long antennae. There are over 2000 species of crickets found worldwide. They are brown or black in colour. Like all insects, they have a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), six jointed legs and two antennae. Their body is covered with a hard exoskeleton. They have large back legs for jumping or hopping. Only some of the crickets have wings that lie useless across the back. The wings are often too small to be of any use. Crickets sense sounds using their hearing organs called tympani located in their front legs. They are known for their chirping sound. They have special parts on their wings that when rubbed together, make a loud sound. Only male crickets chirp. They chirp faster when the temperature is warmer and are active mostly at nights.
Crickets are omnivores so they eat both plants and animals. They mainly feed on greens like young plants, tomatoes, peas, beans and garden fresh fruits.
Their diet also includes decaying material, fungi, dead insects, even the dead or weakened crickets and grasshoppers. Crickets found at homes may attack textiles of cotton, linen, wool, fur and silk. They are particularly attracted to liquids like beer and sweetened vinegar. They will attack paper, rubber and a wide variety of foods.
Most crickets prefer warmer areas so they are found in the grassland and meadows. They are often present in the kitchen and bakery for warmth. They hide themselves in cracks and crevices, behind baseboards and may burrow into the mortar of walls. Most crickets live outdoors in places like garbage dumps in warm weather and during winter, they enter homes. They are sluggish when the home is cold and active when the temperature rises. Some crickets are also found in cool, damp and dark areas like basements. These types of crickets live under logs and stones.
Crickets begin their life from eggs that the female deposits in soil or plant. They lay eggs when winter arrives and by spring, immature crickets called nymphs hatch from it. Nymphs look like small adult crickets but without wings. They moult many times as they develop and finally emerge into adult crickets. Crickets usually live less than a year.
Lucky Songs of cricket
The song or the chirping sounds of crickets are believed to bring good luck and fortune. It is considered as good luck in some parts of Asia. Their songs are said to bring blessings to all that are lucky enough to hear them. In many parts of the world, a cricket found in the house will be treated with respect. Often, they are placed in small cages made especially for them, given food and water, with the hope that they will live a long life, as the longer they live, the more good luck they bring. Others leave them as they are, and if they stay, it means large amounts of money will come to the owners of the house.
As winter arrives, we can take the benefit of chirping sounds by listening to how many chirps they emit each minute. And by dividing this count by 4, and adding the number 40, we can find out the approximate Fahrenheit temperature outside.