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  Crickets - An Overview

The 28 families and 20,000 species of crickets, grasshoppers, and their relatives form the order Orthoptera. They have chewing mouthparts and hindlegs that are adapted for jumping. Most species have toughened forewings to protect the larger hindwings. These insects are found in a range of terrestrial habitats. Singing is common, usually by males to attract mates.

  True Crickets

These insects are slightly flat in shape, with rounded heads, and long, threadlike antennae. When present, the wings are folded flat over the body. Most are various shades of brown or black. Males sing mating songs using ridges at the bases of the forewings. In most females, the ovipositor is conspicuous and either cylindrical or needlelike.

  Life Cycle

Eggs are laid in damp soil, singly or in masses. The carnivorous species known as tree crickets lay their eggs in small groups inside plant tissue. There are up to 12 nymphal stages.


Worldwide. In woods, meadows, scrub, and grassland. Most species are ground-living.


Some species are renowned for their songs, and in certain countries are kept in cages, as pets.

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