Description: The adult Field Cricket is only about two or three centimeters in length. It is mostly black with brown markings on the thorax and wings. It has long, well developed legs for jumping. Crickets can jump 20 to 30 times the length of the their body. If a human could do this, he or she would be able to jump about 150 feet in a single bound! Females are told from males by the presence of the ovipositor located at the end of the abdomen.
Range: The Field Cricket is widespread and can be found throughout much of the world.
Habitat: Field Crickets are generally found in pastures and meadows, but are also found in homes. Field Crickets are voracius eaters and may cause significant damage to crops. In home, they can damage clothing and food.
Reproduction: Crickets reach reproductive maturity between eight and twelve weeks after birth. Males attract mates by rubbing their wings together to produce a noise sometimes referred to as “chirping”. “Chirping” usually occurs at night. Technically, this process is called stirdulation. Interestingly enough, the rate in which a cricket “chirps” is determined by the temperature outside. When it is warmer, crickets chirp faster. Below is an equation used to tell the temperature from the “chirps” of a cricket:
Temperature= 50+(Number of chirps per minute-40)/4
After the male mates with the female, the female will lay between 150 and 400 eggs in the ground or another soft surface. The eggs hatch in about two weeks. The Field Cricket will progress through 8-10 instars (periods of time between moltings) in its lifetime.
Life Cycle: Incomplete Metamorphosis: egg -> nymph -> adult
Diet: Field Crickets will eat just about anything including soft plant matter, insects, young crickets, and decomposing matter.