Thursday, April 8, 2010

Notes from Argeles - The Chirping of Crickets

Mediterranean field cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus)

A guest post by Ken.

The call of the cricket is produced by the male of the species by rubbing a stiffened vein “plectrum” of one wing over a toothed vein “file” of the other wing. This creates sound waves because of vibrations of the harp area in each wing. A sound pulse is produced by each closure of the wings. A chirp results from three to five pulses made in rapid succession. Interestingly, in the field cricket the chirp is temperature dependent affecting not only the chirp duration but also the period and frequency. (Communicatory Constraints on Field Crickets Gryllus bimaculatus Calling at Low Ambient Temperatures J. W. Van Wyk, J. W. H. Ferguson J. Insect Physiol. Vol. 41, No. IO, pp. 837-841, 1995)

I observed the Mediterranean field cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus) while on vacation in Argeles, France in 2009. He appeared to be very fond of my beach towel, either for the moisture or the shelter.

Au revoir, Monsieur le Cricket!

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