How long do crickets live?
Crickets is the name given to a particular group of insects belonging to the order Orthoptera, which includes a wide variety of suborders, among which the katydids (Tettigoniidae) and grasshoppers (Acridomorpha) stand out.
Despite sharing certain characteristic features with the katydids and grasshoppers, crickets have enough of their biological characteristics to form a single superfamily (Grylloidea) and, thus, differentiate themselves from the rest of the Orthoptera insect suborders.
Crickets are well known for their loud summer song, the use of which goes beyond the classic courtship call or mating ritual. For example, a cricket can use its song to communicate successfully mating, or defend its territory from other crickets males, etc.
- Cricket lifespan
- Where do crickets live?
- What do crickets eat?
- Interesting facts about crickets
- The worldwide distribution of crickets
- Unique songs of male crickets
- Timing of cricket activity
- Not all crickets sing
- Perceptive abilities of crickets
- Seasonal nature of cricket behavior
- Predators of crickets
- The unique mechanism behind the cricket's song
- Cultural significance of crickets
- Development of cricket wings
The lifespan of a cricket can vary depending on several factors such as the species of cricket, environmental conditions, and the stage of its life cycle. In general, crickets can live anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
It's worth noting that the lifespan of crickets can also vary depending on the stage of their life cycle: crickets in the egg or nymph stage may have a shorter lifespan than adult crickets.
Similarly, environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and availability of food and water can also affect the lifespan of a cricket.
Factors affecting cricket lifespan
Crickets are fascinating creatures that play important roles in many ecosystems. The lifespan of a cricket can vary depending on several factors, including environmental conditions, diet, and genetics:
- Environmental conditions: temperature, humidity, and availability of food and water can all have significant effects on the lifespan of crickets. For example, crickets that live in hotter and more arid environments may have shorter lifespans than those that live in cooler and more humid environments. Similarly, crickets that have access to abundant food and water are likely to live longer than those that have to search for these resources.
- Diet: crickets that are fed a well-balanced diet with adequate nutrients and vitamins are likely to live longer than those that are fed a suboptimal diet. In addition, the type of food that a cricket eats can also affect its lifespan. For example, crickets that are fed a diet high in protein are likely to live longer than those that are fed a diet low in protein.
- Genetics: some species of crickets may have genetic variations that make them more resistant to environmental stressors or more efficient at metabolizing nutrients. These genetic variations can give some crickets a longer lifespan than others.
- Predators and disease: crickets that are frequently hunted or infected with diseases are likely to have shorter lifespans than those that are not. Some species of crickets have evolved to have defensive mechanisms, such as camouflage or chemical defenses, that can help them avoid predation and disease.
Life cycle of crickets
Crickets are a particularly prolific group of orthopteran insects. Once the mating season begins, the male cricket begins to prepare the burrow where it will attract one or more females through his noisy song with the sole purpose of fertilizing them.
If the mating ritual is successful, the female will lay up to 200 eggs in moist soil near the roots of one or more plants. Subsequently, under ideal conditions: rain, excessive humidity, low pressure, and warm temperature, the egg will hatch in ten (10) days.
Once the egg has hatched, the nymph or micro-cricket will emerge to the surface. During this stage of its biological cycle, cricket has a similar appearance (in appearance) to adult cricket, although much smaller (just a few millimeters).
This margin of similarity between the N1 nymph and the adult cricket will become smaller and smaller with each molt change. In total, the cricket nymph must carry out seven changes to complete its metamorphosis in approximately forty-five (45) days.
Finally, two months after emerging from its egg, the nymph will carry out its last molt, number 7. After this, the cricket nymph will become an adult cricket with plenary reproductive and musical capacity (if it is male).
Usually, an adult cricket (the one that emits sound) will live an average of 40 days. However, this period can be extended much longer, depending on the cricket species and their living conditions.
Where do crickets live?
It is possible to hear a cricket in almost any inhabitable place in the world. These insects have a great capacity to adapt to all kinds of regions.
As if that were not enough, crickets are excellent colonizers indeed; they are capable of flying over the sea with the sole purpose of inhabiting an insular region.
Despite having a wide distribution throughout the world, crickets prefer to habit tropical regions, where they usually inhabit the tops and branches of trees and shrubs, grasses, and herbs, as well as in small burrows in the ground; also, they habit caves, rotting trees, and even wetlands.
What do crickets eat?
Thus, depending on its species and the environmental conditions in which it develops, a cricket can feed on:
- Aphids (insects belonging to the Aphidoidea superfamily).
- Dog food (captive only).
- Insect eggs.
- Mealybugs (insects belonging to the infraorder Coccomorpha).
- Plant sprouts.
Some species of crickets show strictly herbivorous behaviors, while others, on the contrary, are predators by nature and others rather scavengers. Finally, there is a group of crickets with quite flexible feeding behaviors. Generally, these omnivorous crickets are difficult to find in nature since it is a behavior typical of crickets bred in captivity.
Interesting facts about crickets
Next, we show you ten (10) fun facts about crickets:
The worldwide distribution of crickets
There are currently 3700 species of crickets alive and distributed throughout the world (except for those regions of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres with latitudes above 55°). In other words, no matter where you go, chances are there is a cricket hiding close to you.
Unique songs of male crickets
Each cricket male produces a particular song with a unique volume and frequency. Thus, not all crickets emit the same sound. No matter how similar they may seem.
Timing of cricket activity
Although it seems obvious, the crickets will not be active (emitting sound) throughout their life but only during their last stage of development.
Not all crickets sing
Not all male crickets emit sound; some species lack this characteristic.
Perceptive abilities of crickets
Crickets are exceptionally perceptive. Thanks to their incredible sense of hearing, crickets can tell when a potential predator or rival is nearby. For that reason, it seems impossible to catch a cricket red-handed while it sings.
Seasonal nature of cricket behavior
Crickets exhibit particularly dynamic and louder behavior during the summer, mainly due to the environmental conditions of the season, which are excellent for their proliferation.
Predators of crickets
Spiders, frogs, toads, and birds are the main predators of crickets. For this reason, if these species are forcibly expelled from a humid ecosystem, the cricket population will most likely grow disproportionately.
The unique mechanism behind the cricket's song
Contrary to popular belief, male crickets don't sing by quickly rubbing their legs together. The cricket's distinctive song is produced by the constant rubbing of a vein and the insect's hindwings.
Cultural significance of crickets
Cricket is considered a symbol of good luck in some Far Eastern countries.
Development of cricket wings
Although most crickets develop wings during their last molt (N7), this does not mean they are strictly functional. In this sense, the cricket's quality and flight time will depend on its specie (and the type of development achieved in its last molt).