Why do crickets and grasshoppers chirp

The fact that insects also know how to make sounds, despite the absence of a vocal apparatus, is known to everyone. By the way, the method of communication between insects using sounds is called stridulation.

For example, crickets and grasshoppers chirp with the help of special membranes on the elytra.

The characteristic chirping sound occurs when these membranes rub against each other. But why are they doing this?

It turns out that these insects make sounds for two main reasons:

  • This is how they scare away rivals, show other individuals that this territory is occupied.
  • Males attract females with their chirring during mating season.

In 1913, the Slovenian entomologist Ivan Regen conducted the following experiment. Placing a male cricket under a glass cup, he found that the nearby females did not pay any attention to him, although he was perfectly visible to them.

During the second experiment, the chirping emitted by the male, Regen decided to transmit by phone. And the females immediately rushed towards the tube and formed a tight circle around it. The characteristic sounds attracted individuals of the opposite sex even when they were strongly distorted and seemed to a person completely different from the chirping of a cricket.

It turns out that only males chirp? No, not only. Females, depending on their desire, can also sometimes start chirping, but basically such "playing music" is the lot of males.

What can make crickets and grasshoppers stop chirping? Anxiety!

Crickets and grasshoppers instantly stop their chirping at the moment of danger.

Who chirps more melodiously - crickets or grasshoppers? The membranes of crickets are thinner than those of grasshoppers, so the sounds they make are more melodic and varied. Each insect has its own sound frequency (from 3 to 30 kiloHertz).