Cricket (insect)

Cricket (insect)

Overview
Crickets, family Gryllidae (also known as "true crickets"), are insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s somewhat related to grasshopper
Grasshopper
The grasshopper is an insect of the suborder Caelifera in the order Orthoptera. To distinguish it from bush crickets or katydids, it is sometimes referred to as the short-horned grasshopper...

s, and more closely related to katydids or bush crickets
Tettigoniidae
The family Tettigoniidae, known in American English as katydids and in British English as bush-crickets, contains more than 6,400 species. It is part of the suborder Ensifera and the only family in the superfamily Tettigonioidea. They are also known as long-horned grasshoppers, although they are...

 (family Tettigoniidae). They have somewhat flattened bodies and long antennae
Antenna (biology)
Antennae in biology have historically been paired appendages used for sensing in arthropods. More recently, the term has also been applied to cilium structures present in most cell types of eukaryotes....

. There are about 900 species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of crickets. They tend to be nocturnal and are often confused with grasshopper
Grasshopper
The grasshopper is an insect of the suborder Caelifera in the order Orthoptera. To distinguish it from bush crickets or katydids, it is sometimes referred to as the short-horned grasshopper...

s because they have a similar body structure including jumping hind legs. Crickets are harmless to humans.

The sound emitted by crickets is commonly referred to as chirping; the scientific name is stridulation
Stridulation
Stridulation is the act of producing sound by rubbing together certain body parts. This behavior is mostly associated with insects, but other animals are known to do this as well, such as a number of species of fishes, snakes and spiders...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Cricket (insect)'
Start a new discussion about 'Cricket (insect)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Crickets, family Gryllidae (also known as "true crickets"), are insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s somewhat related to grasshopper
Grasshopper
The grasshopper is an insect of the suborder Caelifera in the order Orthoptera. To distinguish it from bush crickets or katydids, it is sometimes referred to as the short-horned grasshopper...

s, and more closely related to katydids or bush crickets
Tettigoniidae
The family Tettigoniidae, known in American English as katydids and in British English as bush-crickets, contains more than 6,400 species. It is part of the suborder Ensifera and the only family in the superfamily Tettigonioidea. They are also known as long-horned grasshoppers, although they are...

 (family Tettigoniidae). They have somewhat flattened bodies and long antennae
Antenna (biology)
Antennae in biology have historically been paired appendages used for sensing in arthropods. More recently, the term has also been applied to cilium structures present in most cell types of eukaryotes....

. There are about 900 species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of crickets. They tend to be nocturnal and are often confused with grasshopper
Grasshopper
The grasshopper is an insect of the suborder Caelifera in the order Orthoptera. To distinguish it from bush crickets or katydids, it is sometimes referred to as the short-horned grasshopper...

s because they have a similar body structure including jumping hind legs. Crickets are harmless to humans.

Cricket chirping


The sound emitted by crickets is commonly referred to as chirping; the scientific name is stridulation
Stridulation
Stridulation is the act of producing sound by rubbing together certain body parts. This behavior is mostly associated with insects, but other animals are known to do this as well, such as a number of species of fishes, snakes and spiders...

. Only the male crickets chirp. The sound is emitted by the stridulatory organ, a large vein running along the bottom of each wing, covered with "teeth" (serration
Serration
Serration generally refers to a saw-like appearance or a row of sharp or tooth-like projections. A serrated cutting edge has many small points of contact with the material being cut. By having less contact area than a smooth blade or other edge, the applied force at each point of contact is...

) much like a comb. The chirping sound is created by running the top of one wing along the teeth at the bottom of the other wing. As he does this, the cricket also holds the wings up and open, so that the wing membranes can act as acoustical sails. It is a popular myth that the cricket chirps by rubbing its legs together.

There are four types of cricket song: The calling song attracts females and repels other males, and is fairly loud. The courting song is used when a female cricket is near, and is a very quiet song. An aggressive song is triggered by chemoreceptors on the antennae that detect the near presence of another male cricket and a copulatory song is produced for a brief period after a successful mating.

Crickets chirp at different rates depending on their species and the temperature of their environment
Environment (biophysical)
The biophysical environment is the combined modeling of the physical environment and the biological life forms within the environment, and includes all variables, parameters as well as conditions and modes inside the Earth's biosphere. The biophysical environment can be divided into two categories:...

. Most species chirp at higher rates the higher the temperature is (approximately 62 chirps a minute at 13°C in one common species; each species has its own rate). The relationship between temperature and the rate of chirping is known as Dolbear's Law
Dolbear's Law
Dolbear's law states the relationship between the air temperature and the rate at which snowy tree crickets chirp...

. According to this law, counting the number of chirps produced in 14 seconds by the snowy tree cricket common in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and adding 40 will approximately equal the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

Crickets, like all other insects, are cold-blooded. They take on the temperature of their surroundings. Many characteristics of cold-blooded animals, like the rate at which crickets chirp, or the speed at which ants walk, follow an equation called the Arrhenius equation
Arrhenius equation
The Arrhenius equation is a simple, but remarkably accurate, formula for the temperature dependence of the reaction rate constant, and therefore, rate of a chemical reaction. The equation was first proposed by the Dutch chemist J. H. van 't Hoff in 1884; five years later in 1889, the Swedish...

. This equation describes the activation energy or threshold energy required to induce a chemical reaction. For instance, crickets, like all other organisms, have many chemical reactions occurring within their bodies. As the temperature rises, it becomes easier to reach a certain activation or threshold energy, and chemical reactions, like those that occur during the muscle contractions used to produce chirping, happen more rapidly. As the temperature falls, the rate of chemical reactions inside the crickets' bodies slow down, causing characteristics, such as chirping, to also slow down.

Crickets have tympanic membranes
Eardrum
The eardrum, or tympanic membrane, is a thin membrane that separates the external ear from the middle ear in humans and other tetrapods. Its function is to transmit sound from the air to the ossicles inside the middle ear. The malleus bone bridges the gap between the eardrum and the other ossicles...

 located just below the middle joint of each front leg (or knee). This enables them to hear another cricket's song.
In 1975, Dr. William H. Cade
William H. Cade
Dr. William H. "Bill" Cade is a biologist and a former president of the University of Lethbridge. He researches the role of acoustic signals in field cricket mating behaviour.-Education:...

 discovered that the parasitic tachinid
Tachinidae
Tachinidae is a large and rather variable family of true flies within the insect order Diptera, with more than 8,200 known species and many more to be discovered. There are over 1300 species in North America. Insects in this family are commonly called tachina flies or simply tachinids...

 fly
Fly
True flies are insects of the order Diptera . They possess a pair of wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax...

 Ormia ochracea
Ormia ochracea
Ormia ochracea is a small yellow nocturnal fly, a parasitoid of crickets. It is notable because of its exceptionally acute directional hearing. The female is attracted by the song of the male cricket and deposits larvae on or around him, as was discovered in 1975 by the zoologist William H. Cade...

is attracted to the song of the male cricket, and uses it to locate the male in order to deposit her larva
Larva
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle...

e on him. It was the first example of a natural enemy that locates its host or prey using the mating signal. Since then, many species of crickets have been found to be carrying the same parasitic fly, or related species. In response to this selective pressure, a mutation leaving males unable to chirp was observed amongst a population of field crickets
Teleogryllus oceanicus
Teleogryllus oceanicus commonly known as the Australian, Pacific or oceanic field cricket is a cricket that occurs across the Oceania and in coastal Australia from Carnarvon in Western Australia and Rockhampton in north-east Queensland...

 on the Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

an island of Kauai
Kauai
Kauai or Kauai, known as Tauai in the ancient Kaua'i dialect, is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of , it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle",...

, giving these crickets the obvious advantage of eluding their parasitoid
Parasitoid
A parasitoid is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life history attached to or within a single host organism in a relationship that is in essence parasitic; unlike a true parasite, however, it ultimately sterilises or kills, and sometimes consumes, the host...

 opponents.

Diet and life cycle


Crickets are omnivorous scavengers who feed on organic materials, as well as decaying plant material, fungi, and some seedling plants. Crickets eat their own dead when there are no other sources of food available, and exhibit predatorial behavior upon weakened, crippled crickets.

Crickets have relatively powerful jaws, and several species have been known to bite humans.

Crickets mate in late summer and lay their eggs in autumn. The eggs hatch in the spring and have been estimated to number as high as 200 per fertile female. Species Acheta domestica however lays eggs almost continually, with the females capable of laying at least twice a month. Female crickets have a long needlelike egg-laying organ
Ovipositor
The ovipositor is an organ used by some animals for oviposition, i.e., the laying of eggs. It consists of a maximum of three pairs of appendages formed to transmit the egg, to prepare a place for it, and to place it properly...

 called an ovipositor
Ovipositor
The ovipositor is an organ used by some animals for oviposition, i.e., the laying of eggs. It consists of a maximum of three pairs of appendages formed to transmit the egg, to prepare a place for it, and to place it properly...

.

Crickets are popular as a live food source for carnivorous pets like frogs, lizards, tortoises, salamanders, and spiders. Feeding crickets with nutritious food in order to pass the nutrition onto animals that eat them is known as gut loading
Gut loading
Gut loading is the process by which an animal's prey is raised and fed nutritious foods with the intention of passing those nutrients to the animal for which the prey is intended. This term is used most often in reference to the preparation of insects, such as crickets and mealworms, or mice which...

. In addition to this, the crickets are often dusted with a mineral supplement powder to ensure complete nutrition to the pet.

Taxonomy


Subfamilies of the family Gryllidae:
  • Eneopterinae – (true) bush crickets
  • Gryllinae – common or field cricket
    Field cricket
    Field crickets are insects of order Orthoptera. These crickets are in subfamily Gryllinae of family Gryllidae.They hatch in spring, and the young crickets eat and grow rapidly. They shed their skin eight or more times before they become adults.Field crickets eat a broad range of feeds: seeds,...

    s; brown or black; despite the name, some of them enter houses (e.g. Acheta domesticus, the house cricket). This family includes the genera Gryllus
    Gryllus
    Gryllus is a genus of crickets. Members of the genus are typically 15–31 mm long and darkly coloured . Species are usually recognised by their life histories and by their song .-Species:The genus contains the following species :...

    , Platygryllus
    Platygryllus
    Platygryllus is a genus of the true cricket family Gryllidae.-Mating behaviour:Males of this genus transfer sperm to the female via an spermatophore which is externally attached to a females ovipositor. Male crickets guard females after spermatophore transfer to prevent the female from removing his...

    , Acheta
    Acheta
    Acheta is a genus of field crickets. It most notably contains the house cricket Acheta domesticus.-Species:*Acheta angustiuscula*Acheta arabica*Acheta brevipennis*Acheta chudeaui*Acheta confalonierii*Acheta domesticus...

     and Gryllodes.
  • Nemobiinae – ground crickets
  • Oecanthinae – tree cricket
    Tree cricket
    Tree crickets are insects of order Orthoptera. These crickets are in the subfamily Oecanthinae of the family Gryllidae.They live in trees and shrubs, for which they are well camouflaged. Like other species of cricket they produce their calling song by rubbing the ridges of their wings together...

    s; usually green with broad, transparent wings; frequent trees and shrubs.
  • Phalangopsinae
    Phalangopsinae
    Phalangopsinae, occasionally known as "spider crickets", are a subfamily of the cricket family Gryllidae. Members of Phalangopsinae are found worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Most species in the subfamily are nocturnal and can be found in rocky areas, near fallen wood, and the...

     - spider crickets
  • Podoscirtinae – anomalous crickets
  • Pteroplistinae
  • Trigonidiinae – sword-tail cricket
    Sword-tail cricket
    The sword-tail crickets are insects of the order Orthoptera, in which they belong to the suborder Ensifera like all true crickets . They make up the subfamily Trigonidiinae.-Genera:* Amusurgus* Anacyrtoxipha* Anaxipha...

    s


In addition to the above subfamilies in the family Gryllidae, several other orthopteran groups outside of this family also may be called crickets:
  • Cave crickets - also called camel crickets
  • Jerusalem cricket
    Jerusalem cricket
    Jerusalem crickets, are a group of large, flightless insects of the genus Stenopelmatus. They are native to the western United States and parts of Mexico....

    s / Sand crickets
  • Mogoplistidae – scaly crickets
  • Mole cricket
    Mole cricket
    The mole crickets compose family Gryllotalpidae, of thick-bodied insects about long, with large beady eyes and shovel-like forelimbs highly developed for burrowing and swimming. They can also fly: the adult mole cricket may fly as far as during mating season, is active most of the year, and...

    s
  • Mormon cricket
    Mormon cricket
    The Mormon cricket is a large insect that can grow to almost three inches in length. They live throughout western North America in rangelands dominated by sagebrush and forbs....

    s
  • Myrmecophilidae – ant cricket
    Ant cricket
    The ant-loving crickets are rarely encountered relatives of crickets, and are obligate inquilines within ant nests. They are very small, wingless, and flattened, therefore resembling small cockroach nymphs. There are a few genera, containing fewer than 100 species. Ant Crickets are yellow in color...

    s
  • Parktown prawn
    Parktown prawn
    The Parktown prawn aka Parkmore prawn aka Parkhurst prawn, Libanasidus vittatus, is a monotypic species of king cricket found in Southern Africa. Although a member of the cricket order Orthoptera, it is placed in the family Anostostomatidae, separate from that of the true crickets, Gryllidae...

    s
  • Tettigoniidae
    Tettigoniidae
    The family Tettigoniidae, known in American English as katydids and in British English as bush-crickets, contains more than 6,400 species. It is part of the suborder Ensifera and the only family in the superfamily Tettigonioidea. They are also known as long-horned grasshoppers, although they are...

     – katydids or bush crickets

Folklore and folkways


The folklore and mythology surrounding crickets is extensive. The singing of crickets in the folklore of Brazil and elsewhere is sometimes taken to be a sign of impending rain, or of a financial windfall. In Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was a Spanish explorer of the New World, one of four survivors of the Narváez expedition...

's chronicles of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, the sudden chirping of a cricket heralded the sighting of land for his crew, just as their water supply had run out. In Caraguatatuba
Caraguatatuba
Caraguatatuba, widely known by its abbreviation Caraguá, is a city in the eastern part of the southern state of São Paulo in Brazil. The name comes from the Tupi language and one of the words includes tuba meaning many. Caraguatatuba is the largest city of São Paulo north shore.The economy of the...

, Brazil, a black cricket in a room is said to portend illness; a gray one, money; and a green one, hope
Hope
Hope is the emotional state which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. It is the "feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best" or the act of "look[ing] forward to with desire and reasonable confidence" or...

. In Alagoas
Alagoas
Alagoas is one of the 27 federative units of Brazil and is situated in the eastern part of the Northeast Region. It borders: Pernambuco ; Sergipe ; Bahia ; and the Atlantic Ocean . It occupies an area of 27,767 km², being slightly larger than Haiti...

 state, northeast Brazil, a cricket announces death, thus it is killed if it chirps in a house. In the village of Capueiruçu in Bahia
Bahia
Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil, and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast. It is the fourth most populous Brazilian state after São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, and the fifth-largest in size...

 State, a constantly chirping cricket foretells pregnancy, but if it pauses, money is expected. The mole cricket
Mole cricket
The mole crickets compose family Gryllotalpidae, of thick-bodied insects about long, with large beady eyes and shovel-like forelimbs highly developed for burrowing and swimming. They can also fly: the adult mole cricket may fly as far as during mating season, is active most of the year, and...

 locally known as "paquinha", "jeguinho", "cachorrinho-d'água", or "cava-chão" (genera Scapteriscus and Neocurtilla, Gryllotalpidae) is said to predict rain when it digs into the ground. In Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

, a loud cricket means money is coming in; hence, a cricket must not be killed or evicted if it chirps inside a house. However, another type of cricket that is less noisy forebodes illness or death. In Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, the Gryllotalpa africanus cricket is held to bring good fortune to anyone who sees it.

Crickets are popular pets
Crickets as pets
Keeping crickets as pets emerged in China in early antiquity. Initially, crickets were kept for their "songs" . In the early 12th century the Chinese people began holding cricket fights.Yutaka Suga, p. 79, discusses another theory dating cricket fights to the 8th century. However, the earliest...

 and are considered good luck in some countries; in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, crickets are sometimes kept in cages, It is also common to have them as caged pets in some Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an countries, particularly in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

. Cricket fighting
Cricket fighting
Cricket fighting is a blood sport involving the fighting of male crickets. Unlike most blood sports such as bullfighting and cockfighting, however, cricket fighting rarely causes injuries to the animals...

 as a gambling
Gambling
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods...

 or sports betting
Sports betting
Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome.-United States of America:Aside from simple wagers such as betting a friend that one's favorite baseball team will win its division or buying a football "square" for the Super Bowl, sports betting is...

 pastime also occurs, particularly in China, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

.

Consumption


Various species of crickets are a part of people's diets in some countries, and are considered delicacies of high cuisine in places like Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

.
In Cambodia and southern part of Vietnam, cricket is well known as a delicious food. It is prepared by deep frying the soaked and cleaned insect in oil.

In popular culture

  • Since the days of radio entertainment, the sound of crickets chirping has been used as an indication that a scene is taking place late at night. In comedy formats, the sound of crickets may be used to humorously indicate a dead silence when a response, such as laughter after a punch line, is expected. Similarly, in online communication, writers may use the concept of "crickets chirping" in a rhetoric
    Rhetoric
    Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

    al sense to signal that the writer believes that he or she has made a point that a hypothetical opponent cannot answer. The space that would have been occupied by the nonexistent answer is instead occupied by the symbolic word *crickets* or *chirp chirp* to symbolize this silence.

  • The Walt Disney Company has used a number of notable cricket characters in their animated movies. In the 1940's Pinocchio
    Pinocchio (1940 film)
    Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the story The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. It is the second film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, and it was made after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and was released to theaters by...

    , Jiminy Cricket
    Jiminy Cricket
    Jiminy Cricket is the Walt Disney version of "The Talking Cricket" , a fictional character created by Carlo Collodi for his children's book Pinocchio, which was adapted into an animated film by Disney in 1940...

     becomes the title character's conscience
    Conscience
    Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong. Moral judgement may derive from values or norms...

    , and in Mulan
    Mulan
    Mulan is a 1998 American animated film directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook, with story by Robert D. San Souci and screenplay by Rita Hsiao, Philip LaZebnik, Chris Sanders, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer, and Raymond Singer. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney...

    , Cri-kee is carried in a cage as a symbol of luck, as in many Asian countries.

  • Chester Cricket is the main character in the 1960's children's book
    Children's literature
    Children's literature is for readers and listeners up to about age twelve; it is often defined in four different ways: books written by children, books written for children, books chosen by children, or books chosen for children. It is often illustrated. The term is used in senses which sometimes...

     The Cricket In Times Square by George Selden
    George Selden
    George Selden may refer to:*George B. Selden, American inventor*George Selden , American children's writer...

    .

  • The Crickets
    The Crickets
    The Crickets are a rock & roll band from Lubbock, Texas, formed by singer/songwriter Buddy Holly in the 1950s. Their first hit record was "That'll Be the Day", released in 1957....

     were the band of legendary rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly
    Buddy Holly
    Charles Hardin Holley , known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll...

    . In Lubbock, Texas
    Lubbock, Texas
    Lubbock is a city in and the county seat of Lubbock County, Texas, United States. The city is located in the northwestern part of the state, a region known historically as the Llano Estacado, and the home of Texas Tech University and Lubbock Christian University...

    , Holly's home town, a baseball team in the Texas-Louisiana League were called the Lubbock Crickets
    Lubbock Crickets
    The Lubbock Crickets were a minor league baseball team that played in Lubbock, Texas from 1995 to 1998. The team was named after Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets. The Crickets played their home games at Dan Law Field on the campus of Texas Tech University...

    . "Cricket" is also musician's slang
    Slang
    Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

     for a harmonica
    Harmonica
    The harmonica, also called harp, French harp, blues harp, and mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used primarily in blues and American folk music, jazz, country, and rock and roll. It is played by blowing air into it or drawing air out by placing lips over individual holes or multiple holes...

    . Van Morrison
    Van Morrison
    Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely...

     may be heard calling for the "cricket" in the studio version of "Bright Side of the Road", introducing the harmonica solo.

External links



  • The cricket suicide
  • Intro on house crickets
  • Singing Insects of North America An online field guide
  • house cricket on the UF
    University of Florida
    The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906...

     / IFAS
    Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
    The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information...

     Featured Creatures Web site
  • tropical house cricket on the UF
    University of Florida
    The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906...

     / IFAS
    Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
    The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information...

     Featured Creatures Web site
  • field crickets, Gryllus spp. on the UF
    University of Florida
    The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906...

     / IFAS
    Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
    The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information...

    Featured Creatures Web site
  • Web article: The recent evolution of a population of silent Hawaiian crickets WhyFiles.org
  • "Tuning in to Cricket Radio", John Himmelman, Berfrois