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Monday, 5 November 2012

Why Are Mole Crickets So Noisy?

image credit Qba From Poland

Mole crickets are burrowing insects. They dig through the soil with their shovel-like forelimbs that are highly developed for burrowing to find food, such as roots and insect grubs. Mole insects have shorter feelers than other crickets for the reason that there is no room for them in tight burrows. Mole crickets are one of the noisiest insects in the world. The male calls to attract mates. These calls can be heard hundreds of meters away – not bad at all for an insect that is about 3 to 5 centimeters long! The crickets rub their fore-wings together to make high pitched clicks. Their burrows make the calls louder as each burrow is carefully sculptured into the shape of a double exponential horn – which acts like a megaphone – sending the calls out into the air. 

Mole crickets are relatively common, but because they are nocturnal and spend nearly all their lives underground in extensive tunnel systems, they are rarely seen. However, in some places, mole cricket numbers are declining due to soil erosion and habitat destruction.

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