Interesting Facts About Crickets: Both Edible And Nutritious

True crickets ­ are probably best known for their incessant chirping on late summer evenings. They’re insects that invade our homes, but they’re beloved around the world. They’re living thermometers with ears on their knees, and they just might save the world.
Cricket is an insect that belongs to the order Orthoptera. There are over 900 species of crickets that are divided in couple of groups, based on their morphology and type of habitat. Crickets can be found throughout the world. They can survive in various habitats, including forests, meadows, fields, rocky areas and caves. Some of them live under the ground.
Crickets are best known by the song they produce. They are symbol of good luck. People of China were holding crickets as pets in the past. Most species of crickets are numerous in the wild.
Some species of crickets are facing uncertain future due to habitat loss (crickets cannot fly and they often disappear along with their habitats). Because of that, several species of crickets are listed as endangered.
Most people can recognize a house or field cricket, but how much do you really know about these familiar insects? Here are some interesting facts about crickets:
1. Most female crickets don’t sing. That cricket in your house that’s endlessly chirping away? It’s probably a male. Most female crickets lack those sound-making wing structures. There are exceptions: Some female mole crickets (relatives of “true” crickets) sing. And males of some cricket species never make a peep.
2. Male crickets make music by rubbing their wings together Crickets produce sound by stridulating. The male cricket has a specially formed vein at the base of the forewing, which enables it to act as a file or scraper.
To sing, he pulls this ridged vein of one wing against the upper surface of the opposite wing, causing a vibration that is amplified by the thin membrane of the wing.
3. Crickets are both edible and nutritious. You’ve probably noticed that entomophagy, or the practice of eating insects, has become somewhat trendy in recent years. While much of the world’s population eats insects as part of their everyday diet, entomophagy isn’t accepted quite so readily in the U.S.
However, products like cricket flour have made eating insects a little more palatable to those who just can’t bear to bite down on a whole bug. Crickets are surprisingly high in protein and calcium. You’ll get almost 13 grams of protein and 76 mg of calcium in every 100 grams of crickets you consume.
4. Intensity of chirps depends on the temperature. Outer temperature (in Fahrenheit degrees) can be determined by adding 37 to the number of chirps produced in 15 seconds. Higher temperature is associated with more frequent chirps.
5. Crickets have excellent eyesight. Their eyes (known as compound eyes) consist of large number of lenses which ensure visualization of different pictures at the same time.
6. Cricket breeding is big business. Thanks to the demand created by reptile owners and breeders, cricket-breeding is a multimillion dollar business in the U.S. Large scale cricket breeders may raise as many as 50 million crickets at a time in warehouse-sized facilities.
The common house cricket, Acheta domesticus, is raised commercially for the pet trade. In recent years, a deadly virus known as cricket paralysis virus has devastated the industry, and more importantly, the crickets.
Crickets infected with the virus as nymphs gradually become paralyzed as adults, flipping onto their backs and dying. Half of the major cricket breeding farms in the U.S. went out of business as a result of the virus, after losing millions of crickets to the disease.
7. Crickets and katydids are close cousins. They belong to the order Orthoptera, which includes grasshoppers, locusts, and katydids as well. While all of these familiar insects share common traits with crickets, the katydids are their closest cousins.
Crickets and katydids are surprisingly similar. Both insect groups feature long antennae and ovipositors, are nocturnal and omnivorous, and use similar methods of making music.

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