The sounds grasshoppers and crickets do are typical of the night. It is more likely to hear that chirping sound in places surrounded by trees and green spaces, but it wouldn’t be that weird to hear it in really urban spots.
Either you find this sound annoying or relaxing, you can’t deny it is a fascinating feature that these insects have, but why do they make that noise?
Why Do Grasshoppers Make That Sound?
First, we have to talk about stridulation, which is the mechanism that allows them to make the sound. The method consists of some part of the body making friction until a noise is made, the structures can be defined as ridges, lips, or nodules depending on the creature that is doing it. Many animals can do stridulation, such as fish, snakes, and spiders, but it is more common in insects.
Crickets and grasshoppers are the most famous arthropods that can do stridulation. They use a hind leg to rub their adjacent hard wing, the wing has a granulated surface that produces the chirping when the two textured parts make friction. This is the way they communicate with the rest of their species.
Only adult male grasshoppers can make the sound since they get their wings when they are fully grown and one of the main reasons they do it is for reproductive meanings as they are in their reproductive age. Meanwhile, usually female grasshoppers have smooth wings that don’t emit any noise, but there are a few kinds that both genders are capable of doing it.
This insect has special auditive organs that are used to capture the sounds made by its fellow grasshoppers. The tympanic organs are located in the legs so they are pretty easy to see. The main purpose of those membranes is to tell the females where the males are so they can reach them out.
Different Chirps, Different Meanings
However, there are other types of chirping and they all have different meanings. The types depend on a series of factors such as temperature and humidity, as they are cold-blooded, whenever it is cold, they will be happy and their singing will be more calmed and slowed, that also happens when they are in dry places, but if they are annoyed by the heat, they would show their dislikes with really loud and fast chirps.
Another situation where it is likely they sing is to mark their territories, when they feel threatened by other grasshoppers, their sound is more high pitched and strong.
There is nothing like listening to a chorus of grasshoppers on a quiet and chill summer night. These insects are a really calm species that are a special sign of luck, there could be a thousand crickets and grasshoppers around you while you read this.