Little Cricket, Long Antennae

Crickets are plentiful this year. Readers in Indiana can hear them chirp through the night. Some find the chirping comforting. Others find the noise irritating.

The female cricket (in the picture below) came to my door last night. A prominent feature is the antennae that are fully 3 and 1/2 times the length of the body. Long antennae can be useful to insects that travel at night. The male crickets call to the female, but they may be difficult to locate in the dark. The long antennae allow the female cricket to search a very large area for a potential mate.

If a predator is lurking nearby, the cricket can detect the enemy with the long antennae before the cricket wanders within striking range. Although antennae in insects are most associated with sense of smell, the antennae are very sensitive to touch and tactile stimuli. The idea of antennae as “Feelers” that allow the cricket to feel its way in the dark is in this case, descriptive of its behavior.

Cricket, Note the Long Antennae

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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3 Responses to Little Cricket, Long Antennae

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hear chirping at night and it makes me feel comfortable because I hate to feel lonely and their presence makes me feel better.
    Before reading this article, it is shame to say, but I never knew that insect with this long of antennae exists. I always heard a lot of cricket noises. However, I rarely saw them. With these antennae, I am sure that their detection is superior to other insects. I am curious that if she can carry antennae along because it seems it’s heavy. I also want to know what if the antennae get cut by other insects or predators.

  2. Jae hoon Baek says:

    I hear chirping at night and it makes me feel comfortable because I hate to feel lonely and their presence makes me feel better.
    Before reading this article, it is shame to say, but I never knew that insect with this long of antennae exists. I always heard a lot of cricket noises. However, I rarely saw them. With these antennae, I am sure that their detection is superior to other insects. I am curious that if she can carry antennae along because it seems it’s heavy. I also want to know what if the antennae get cut by other insects or predators. Is it going to grow again or stay the same for her lifetime?

  3. Pingback: Jiminy Cricket | ZOO*3700's Blog

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