Scientists have identified 900+ species of crickets. They are insects and belong to the Gryllidae family. They closely resemble the grasshoppers.
Egg, nymph, and adult are the three major stages of the Cricket life cycle. Crickets live 0 to 11 days in the egg stage, 6 weeks in the nymph stage, and approximately 6 weeks in the adult stage. On average crickets live for 90 days but lifespan can vary depending upon their types.
Cricket’s life cycle goes through incomplete metamorphosis means they skip the pupal stage of life and hatch from the eggs looking like an adult.
The life cycle of a cricket undergoes 5 stages as follows:
These are broadly based on the changes crickets undergo while they become adults.
The chirping of male crickets is familiar to all. They do it for a purpose, to attract a female and mark their territory. Usually, it is called a mating call and it helps females to locate the male.
Male crickets fight each other to establish their territory. Once their territories are established, they start singing to attract females.
During the nighttime, male crickets rub their wing together and create a chirping sound by setting themselves in resonant vibrations. This sound helps females to locate the male as well as give a clue about which male is more desirable to them.
But the chirping sound of males is not the only way for females to choose a better mating partner. Female crickets observe several males and usually prefer the larger male crickets over the smaller ones. It is believed that the larger crickets are good at finding and using the resources.
Once the female cricket decides and approaches the male that they are interested in, male cricket slowly moves their abdomen towards the female so that she can mount him.
Once the female attracts towards them and mating happens, female crickets start laying eggs. Generally, female crickets lay eggs in late spring.
Female crickets are equipped with a tube-like organ known as an ovipositor from which they lay eggs in the soil or an available substrate. It is frequently observed that the eggs are usually layed half an inch under the soil.
A female cricket can lay around 100 eggs at a time but can lay upto 200 eggs in a lifetime.
Eggs of crickets are transparent and once the embryo starts to form you can see the eyes and head of cricket using a magnifying glass. Hatchlings come out of eggs after 14 days. They are called nymphs.
With a few differences, a tiny version of adult cricket is known as a nymph. Cricket nymphs are also called cricket larvae.
Cricket larvae try to reach the surface by digging through the substrate.
They are miniature forms of adult cricket but without wings and an ovipositor. Since cannibalism is common in crickets, nymphs often fall prey to adult crickets.
Nymphs undergo several changes during the growth and turn into an adult. They have shed the exoskeleton several times during this growth phase.
It is often observed that once nymphs shed the hard exoskeleton, they look milky white in color and people often refer to them as albino crickets.
Usually, nymphs measure about 3 mm in length and go through several changes during the growing phase which is termed as “Instars”.
Cricket nymphs undergo around 10 instars and become adult. During these phases, they shed their exoskeleton and regain the new one. The process of shedding the exoskeleton is called moulting.
After a month, nymphs grows wings and after 3 months they are grown into adult.
Adults are the final stage in the reproductive cycle of crickets.
Crickets live in this stage for almost 2 months then die after mating with females. Female die after laying eggs.
The adult cricket measures about one inch in length and has all body parts like 6 legs, 2 antennae, wings, head, thorax, and abdomen. Female has an ovipositor from which they lay eggs.
Adult crickets are omnivores in nature and can feed on plant matter and insects. They can even eat the nymph crickets.
How many times do crickets mate? Female crickets can mate 7 to 15 times in life to maximize the chances of laying more eggs. It is observed that females who mated more times also laid a higher proportion of fertilized eggs.
Do crickets have one mate? Crickets can have multiple mating partners. Generally, female mates with several males enhance the chances of egg fertilization. Some aggressive male crickets are observed to be mating not only with females but also with other male crickets.
Do crickets die after mating? Adult crickets die right after mating while the female continues to live for a few more days, lay eggs and die off.
What does baby cricket called? Baby cricket is also called NYMPH. There is little difference between baby cricket and adult cricket. Nymph is a tiny version of adult cricket and is known as cricket larvae.
1. University of Bristol. (2012, April 30). Courtship in the cricket world. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 25, 2021 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120430152035.htm
2. Gershman S. N. (2010). Large Numbers of Matings Give Female Field Crickets a Direct Benefit but not a Genetic Benefit. Journal of insect behavior, 23(1), 59–68. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10905-009-9195-y