Three Interesting Facts About Cricket Songs

Most people easily recognize cricket songs, but did you know that different species of crickets make different sounds? While vibrometers can be used to measure inputs for Branson ultrasonic converters, scientists can also use them to identify cricket species by their songs. Here are three facts about cricket songs that you probably aren’t familiar with.

  1. Crickets Sing With Their Wings

Cricket wings, not their legs, are doing all the work when they make music. A cricket’s sets of wings are lined with a vein of microscopic teeth. When the stiff edge of one wing rubs along these teeth, the vibrations are amplified by the wing membranes into a remarkably loud sound.

  1. Some Crickets Sing at High Frequencies

Most cricket species generate a song near a pitch of 5kHz, which is on the high end of humans’ hearing limits. Humans typically cannot hear sounds higher than 20kHz. Scientists have used vibrometers to study the vibrations of a certain type of cricket, called Lebinthini crickets, that make music at a much higher pitch — closer to 15kHz. It is unknown why these crickets evolved to produce such a high-pitched song, but scientists do know that they are able to make this sound because they have many more teeth on their wing veins than typical crickets do.

  1. Cricket Songs Are Mating Calls

Only male crickets have these ridges under their wings. They use their call to attract females for mating. Each species makes a different type of sound when it sings. This helps scientists — and female crickets — identify the various species. Venturing out of safe cover to find a mate is a risky proposition for a female cricket, as it exposes her to birds and other predators. It’s critical that she knows that she’s found a mate of the proper species before she approaches him.

Most people don’t need to pay attention to the variety of crickets that they encounter, but scientific studies have uncovered lots of interesting information about how and why crickets make music, and how cricket songs vary among species.