G.I. Bernard/Oxford Scientific Films
Crickets have long antennae and hind legs adapted for jumping; organs for hearing are located on their front legs. Solitary by day, crickets remain in crevices, under rocks, or in shallow burrows dug in the soil, emerging at night to feed on plants. During breeding season, the male cricket attracts a female with his call, sometimes driving off other males that intrude on his territory. The call is distinctive in each species. The snowy tree cricket varies its chirping according to the air temperature. The temperature in Fahrenheit degrees can be estimated simply by adding 40 to the number of its chirps in 15 seconds. In most crickets, after mating the female uses her long, spearlike ovipositor to insert eggs into the soil or plant stems. The young, called nymphs, resemble the adults. They reach full size after 6 to 12 molts during which they shed their outer covering; as adults, they usually live six to eight weeks.
Scientific classification: True crickets make up the family Gryllidae in the order Orthoptera, which also includes grasshoppers and katydids. The house cricket is classified as Acheta domesticus; field crickets are in the genus Gryllus. The snowy tree cricket is classified as Oecanthus fultoni. Cave and camel crickets make up the family Gryllacrididae, mole crickets make up the family Gryllotalpidae, Jerusalem crickets make up the family Stenopelmatidae, and pygmy mole crickets make up the family Tridactylidae.