How Does a Cricket Make Its Chirping Sound?
Crickets make their chirping sounds by rubbing their wings together. Only male crickets make this sound. They attract female crickets with it and warn other male crickets to stay away. Each of the male’s wings has a rough surface on its underside called the “file.” On top of each wing is a “scraper.”
To produce his mating call, the cricket raises his wings and rubs the scraper of one wing against the file of the opposite wing. The wings also act as sounding boards amplifying the sound. This cricket music is called stridulation. The female cricket listens with “ears” located on her front legs.
Crickets are mostly nocturnal, which means they rest during the day and become active at night. If you’ve spent much time outside after the sun goes down, you know it’s then that the hills come alive with the sound of music — cricket music!
Not only are crickets natural-born fiddlers, they are living thermometers, too. Crickets prefer warm weather. The warmer it is, the more crickets will sing. This is why you may notice especially vocal cricket choirs on hot summer nights.
If the temperature falls below 55° F, crickets usually won’t sing at all. This relationship between cricket chirps and temperature is known as Dolbear’s Law, but don’t throw out your thermometer just yet.