Cricket is a fascinating animal that belongs to the scientific order “Orthoptera”. The other popular member of these order are katydids and grasshoppers.
Based on the shared anatomical characterisitcis of Orthoptera insects, they are grouped together. These insects has common parts of body.
What are body parts of a cricket?
Crickets have several body parts but head, thorax and abdomen are the three major parts of the crickets. Head has mouth, eyes, antennae, palpi and brain while legs and wings are attached to the thorax. Abdomen is the largest part of crickets body which consist cerci, ovipositor, and spiracles.
If you take a closer look at the anatomy of cricket, you will find that the crickets has straight wings, segmented narrow body, large hind legs designed for jumping, enlarged pronotum, and mandibulate mouthpart.
Though there are several types of crickets, we will discuss the anantomy considering the common field cricket.
Body Parts of Cricket
|Antennae||Helps to feel and smell the surrounding|
|Compound Eyes||Has six-sided lenses which helps to see in multiple direction|
|Simple Eyes||Has single lense and used to differentiate the dark and light|
|Palpi||Appendage like organ near mouth useful for grabbing the food|
|Walking Legs||Four anterior legs used for walking purpose|
|Jumping Legs||Posterior long legs meant to help in jumping|
|Fore Wings||A bit sturdy wings to protect hind wings|
|Hind Wings||Fragile wings used for chirping and flying|
|Cerci||Sensory organ to help understand the surrounding.|
|Oviposter||Found only in females & meant for laying eggs|
|Spiracles||Tiny holes for oxygen absorption|
We can divide the anatomy of cricket in two major parts
- External Anantomy
- Internal Anatomy
An overview of external anatomy shows that cricket has several anatomical parts that are useful for various body functions. A closer look at crickets body reveals that it consist three major section i.e head, thorax and abdomen.
These three section of crickets body consist exoskeleton, eyes, antennae, mandible, neck, legs, , wings, stridulating organ, oviposter in female and spiracles.
While growing from the egg to adult stage of life, crickets goes under several changes in body. Since their body is surrounded by hard exoskeleton they cant grow without shedding (molting) the outer layer of skeleton.
Cricket goes under several staes of molting before they reach adult stage of life and gain sexual maturity and wings.
Like other animals, head of cricket is encapsulated in an exoskeletal cranium and has 4 pairs of appendages which is known as sclerites.
Interstingly, crickets has several eyes rather than one pair. The two hexagonal compound eyes on head allow cricket to see in multi-direction while the simple eyes help them to differentiate between the darkness and light.
Head also has a pair of antennae which is useful for the smelling the surrounding. This gives them ability to feel the surrounding by identifying various smells. Usually, crickets has antennae about the same length as the throax.
Underneath the head, cricket has an appendage shaped organ called as palpi which is useful for biting and grasping the food.
The middle part of crickets body is termed as thorax and it consist three segments, wings and 3 pairs of legs.
The 2 anteriro pair of legs are identical while the posterior legs are longer than these two. The forelegs and middle legs help circket to walk around while the longer hind legs allow them to hop (jump).
The hind legs are the reason why you can’t grasp cricket easily. When you try to catch them, they push the hind legs on surface and jump quickly.
Often, crickets has two pair of wings which are merely folds of the body wall and exoskeleton. Each wing shows the double layer of body wall and has own function.
The forewings serves as protection layer for the fragile hind wings. Foewings are smaller as compared to hind wings and has stridualting organ which is made of a smoothe scraper on onw wing while jagged edge on the other.
When male cricket rub these two wings together they can able to produce unique sound. These sound is typically known as “Chirping of crickets” and each species of crickets has its own chirping style unique to them.
Male cricket use these sound to attract female for the mating purpose.
Abdomen is the last part of crickets anatomy and has genital parts and eleven segments. Female shows “Oviposter” which is an elongated organ that used to lay eggs.
The abdominal part of crickets body also has cerci and spiracles. Each of these organs has distinctive function. Cerci allow cricket to feel the surrounding surfaces while spiracles are the tiny holes found along the side of abdomen.
Spiracles palys an important role of allowing air to enter the tracheal system of cricket from which then oxygen is picked up and circulated across the body.
Now, the internal anatomy of a cricket shows several systems that work together and help cricket grow, reproduce and live better.
Like many other animals, cricket has the digestive, respiratory, reproductive, circulatory, and nervous systems, and all corresponding organs.
Though insects like crickets has respiratory system, it function different way than that of other animals. Oxygen is absorbed directly into the body tissues via spiracles which are the holes found along the abdomen. This is why crickets can drown easily if they fall into a water source that is deeper than the height of their bodies.
The cricket digestive system begins with the pharynx, which opens into the esophagus, and then widens to become the “crop” or inner thorax. Two salivary glands within the thorax produce enzymes that help breakdown food. The crop then turns into the intestines, colon, and rectum.
Since the fecal pellets feature the shape and markings of the rectum walls, biologists can identify the cricket just by examining its feces. The inner walls are lined with a fat body that stores lipids and carbohydrates. In female crickets, the fat body is used to manufacture eggs.
For reproduction, the female cricket has ovaries with banana shaped eggs and a seminal receptacle that will hold and store the male’s sperm until the female is ready to lay eggs.
Upon oviposition, the eggs pass through and are fertilized by the sperm in the seminal receptacle. Oviposter is found in females which they use to deposits eggs deep into soil. Female ususally lays around 200 eggs at a time.