Why do crickets chirp?

Crickets are specie of insect which has been around for quite some period of time. Crickets are famous for their chirp. This is the unique sound which they produce.

While the sounds of other insects are also famous, but most of us have heard crickets chirping at one point of time or the other.

This is because crickets often live in our vicinity and therefore, we come across their noise pretty often.

The reason as to why do crickets chirp, can be plenty but some of the most common reasons we have discussed below.

You might have noticed on a calm night, you might be just relaxing in your drawing room when the chirping sound comes from your garden. This might make you think that this sound is so irritating but there is a purpose due to which crickets make this kind of sound.

Why do crickets chirp?

The Sound of the crickets chirping usually comes at the night because they are nocturnal creatures. In most of the cases, the sound is generated by the males and not the females.

-Chirping sound due to mating:

The sound is produced by the male crickets, in order to attract the females for mating. The sound of the male crickets tells the female about the location of the males. Once the female is attracted to the male cricket due to the sound, then another sound is emitted by the male cricket which is much more softer and this is just before the mating process begins.

Once the mating process is completed, the sound which is produced by the male cricket becomes a bit louder and this is to indicate the position of the male cricket to the female cricket with which he has mated and to alert the female cricket not to mate with any other male cricket.

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The sound of a chirp, attracts the female cricket and usually the male cricket which produces the best chirp sound, attracts the female. If you go into the intensity of the chirp sound, you would realise that the female crickets only prefer those male crickets which are producing a fast sound and a high-pitched sound. This is usually the characteristic of the young male crickets.

There are many different species of crickets but the female crickets would only be responding to the chirp sound of the male crickets in their own specie. They are able to easily detect which is the sound from their own specie of male crickets and which is the sound from another specie of male crickets.

If you look in to the place of living of the male crickets, you would understand that even though they are living below the ground but still their homes are made in such a way that the sound which is coming out of the ground is actually magnified due to the structure of the homes. This ensures that the sound of a chirp, can travel a very long distance.

-Chirping to establish territory:

Why do crickets chirpDifferent animals and different insects do different things to establish their territory and the crickets can also embed their chirp sound to let other crickets know that this is their territory. The sound which is used for establishing the territories is completely different in frequency as compared to the sound of mating. Once the territory is established, no other cricket would normally venture into that territory as that would result in a physical showdown.

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-Chirping to save their lives:

Since the chirp of the male cricket can travel a long distance it can also alert the predators which can then eat the crickets by knowing their location with the help of their sound. In order to avoid this, crickets have a unique ability to produce the chirp sound in such a way that it might seem that it is coming from a different location than their actual location. This gives the male crickets enough time to escape from that location to save their lives.

-Chirping to alert:

The male cricket can also produce the chirp sound in order to pass on the message to the other crickets regarding any type of problem or any type of danger which is in the nearby vicinity. Thus, the chirp sound can also be used for communication between the crickets themselves.

Why do male crickets produce more chirping sound in summer?

If you notice the chirp sound of the crickets, you would have noticed that in the summer season there is a lot more chirp sound as compared to in the winter season. There is a scientific reason for this.

Crickets, are insects which are having cold blood. Like any other living being which is cold blooded, during the higher temperatures, these insects become much more active and therefore they chirp much more as well. As the temperature increases more and more the chirp sound which is produced by the crickets also increases more and more.

However, if the temperature increases beyond a certain level which is typically around 60°F, then the crickets would stop chirping altogether. The frequency at which the chirping sound is produced by the cricket also depends on the specie of the cricket which you are talking about because not all species produce the same type of chirping sound.

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Dangers due to chirping:

As we mentioned above, due to the chirping, the predators are also attracted to the crickets and while some of the predators might not be eating the crickets directly but they leave their larva in the body of the crickets and one of these insects is a parasite fly, which lays the larva in the body of the male crickets and this is actually burrowed in the body of the crickets specially in the wings which have grooves and then these larva start eating the various organs of the body of the male cricket and finally when they come out of their body, the male cricket dies. Thus chirping can be very dangerous for the male crickets.

In order to avoid such situation, the male crickets have evolved and no longer have grooves in their wings and also have found out other processes for attracting their females. These days, pheromones are used to attract their females and also male crickets move around frequently and dig up new homes instead of staying in the same home for a longer period of time which has the risk of these parasite flies coming in. Since most of the parasite flies are only present during the fall, some of the species have also changed their mating season to spring to avoid being killed by the parasite flies.

So, now that you know the answer to the question why do crickets chirp, you would not be irritated by the sound any more, knowing how important it is for them to chirp.