Cricket Life Cycle
Crickets, whether you live in a suburban setting or a rural environment, you’ve likely encountered them at least once or twice. Maybe you’ve never seen them, but you’ve more than likely heard them chirping.
It can be quite a nuisance, as they’ll go on and on for hours during the wee hours of the night. While this is extremely common, most people don’t know the true reasoning behind the chirping, why they usually on do it at night, or that it is an essential activity in the life cycle of a cricket.
Crickets really are fascinating creatures with fascinating proclivities when you get right down to it. What’s most interesting though is that some people are even adopting these little guys as viable pets.
Whether you are raising them to feed and sustain a larger reptile, fishing with them, or just parenting them, you’ll want to understand everything you possibly can about these creatures.
Doing so will not only make you a more informed environmentalist, but it’ll make you a better caregiver. That being said, it all starts with knowing and understanding the life cycle.
The Basic Life Cycle
The cricket, like most insects, will start out as an egg hatched from the mother. Interestingly enough, a full-fledged female cricket is capable of laying a hundred eggs at one time, a process that usually takes place in the spring.
After the mother gives birth to the eggs there will be a 14-day incubation period. After this period, the nymph will begin to hatch. It is then that the cricket will start shedding its exoskeleton. However, it is not before the cricket does so eight times that he or she will be ready and mature enough for the mating process.
That’s right, after the first shedding of the exoskeleton, the cricket will then need to shed seven more times before it is considered mature enough to mate.
A full-grown cricket will measure in at about an inch long and consist of a head, thorax, and abdomen, along with three pairs of legs. After mating or giving birth, a cricket will spend about two months in this stage before it ultimately diets. This is the basic life cycle of a cricket.
The Speed Of The Life Cycle
So, you just learned that the cricket starts out as an egg. After the egg comes out of the mother it will take two weeks before it hatches. When this happens the nymph will only be about an inch long and won’t possess any wings. Furthermore, the female nymphs won’t even have an ovipositor yet.
Before a cricket can become mature enough to start its own batch of crickets it must shed its exoskeleton eight times to ten times. This is a process that will take about three months. The growth of the wings will take another month.
When And How Do Crickets Start Reproducing
A cricket’s life is pretty much predetermined. They are designed to be hatch and go on to mate and start their own families. They simply exist to continue the growth of the species. This is something that capable as soon as the nymph turns into a grown unit. This is a process that will take anywhere from ten to twelve weeks.
You learned earlier that crickets hatch eggs in the spring. This is also about the time that they mate. As the spring season approaches, the males will start chirping with the hopes of alluring females. Interestingly enough, this is not a sound that is created utilizing a voice box. This noise is created by rubbing their opposing forewings together.
While this is a process that does attract females, it also attracts other rivaling males. This will eventually turn into a competition, where both males will end up in a fight for dominance. Once a winner walks away from the fight, he will being to look for any signs of feedback from the female.
The females usually show their interest by looking towards the source of the chirping sound. If the female is presenting feedback, the male will then change his chirp a bit. This will be his attempt to single out the particular female that responded.
As soon as the female mates with the male, she will immediately dismount and start searching for her next male suitor. The male will die after the mating season is over.
Crickets And Laying Eggs
The female cricket is capable of laying anywhere from hundreds to thousands of eggs during the mating season. That being said, she’ll need to be extremely careful when doing so because she has to be fearful of the male.
The male will want to seek out the eggs and eat them. Not only will the location need to be safe and out of the way of the prying male, but it’ll also need to provide a temperature of anywhere from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The idea location would be inside a home. A home would not only provide adequate temperatures, but it will provide the safety and coverage that the female needs to protect the eggs.
Just because the location is safe and warm, it doesn’t end the process. The mother will only let the eggs thrive here for a week before she relocates them again. Just to ensure that they are safe. Quite the lengthy and in-depth process.
Crickets And Appetite
What’s really interesting about crickets is that they have an unquenchable appetite. This means it is never fully satisfied with its food consumption It simply doesn’t feel like it has a full stomach, and this is why the males usually turn to feast on the offspring.
Other than this, crickets also like to eat plants, other insects, and fruits. Unless in a state of dormancy, a cricket can go about a week without food before it dies.
When all said and done a cricket lives almost a total of 90 days. Males that have mated usually die as soon as the mating season is over. The females, on the other hand, can live on until the next generation hatches. Crickets that do not reproduce in the spring possess the uncanny ability to survive the winter.
They’ll usually do this by hibernating deep underground the entire time. Once the nymphs have hatched, the mother will join the males in death.
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