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Why do crickets chirp?

(Source: Wonders of Our World, W.O.W., The Ohio State University)

Crickets chirp for several reasons, but only the male crickets can chirp. They have a file and scraper body part on their wings that makes the chirping noise. Crickets have different songs for different purposes. The chirping that that is most common is that of a male trying to attract female crickets. This song also simultaneously warns off competing males by saying that this is his territory. Once a male cricket has a female nearby, he woos her with another song. Once the male and female crickets have finished mating, he sings another song to keep her nearby and guard her from being mated with another male. When a male invades another cricket’s territory and they encounter one another, they have another type of song of aggression. Each song has a different rate and loudness of the chirping. Crickets use sounds and vibrations to communicate with each other. Crickets use special "ears" on their front legs to hear other crickets' vibrations. This "ear" is like humans eardrum, which is very sensitive to sound vibrations.

Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden
358 North Parkview Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43209