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March 26, 2013
While the Western states brace for a grasshopper invasion, or locust swarm, the cricket just hangs around your backyard driving you slowly crazy.
But, in reality, the cricket, part of the same family of Orthorperans, which also includes the katydid, is one of the least bothersome and most noble of insects.
Many believe their songs are blessings. Good luck, in fact.
In parts of the world, a cricket found in the house will be kept in small cages, given food and water in the hopes they will live past their average life span of a year, and continue to bring good fortune.
Like grasshoppers, they're great leapers.
Unlike grasshoppers, they have wings, but only use them to rub them against parts of their body to make that beautiful music.
The "Cricket Love Call" comes from males courting their potential mates, or warning other males, "She's mine."
“Insectopedia,” a fascinating look into the world of insects by Hugh Raffles—who has a particularly fascinating chapter on today's subject.
It's about the bizarre world of cricket fighting.
Where's Peta when we really need them?
Crickets are pitted against each other, in far off places, like southern China.
There's massive wagering on the outcome of televised matches, performance-enhancing drugs for bloodline-bred crickets, and traditions that go back to the Tang Dynasty.
Champion crickets are honored; the losers are released and "watched over" by a curse against any who would harm them.
1. When it is time to sing, he will sing. This is trustworthiness.
2. On meeting an enemy, he will not hesitate to fight. This is courage.
3. Even seriously wounded, he will not surrender. This is loyalty.
4. When defeated he will not sing. He knows shame.
5. When he becomes cold, he will return to his home. He is wise and recognizes the facts of the situation.
Hugh Raffles writes:
“The more I’ve learned about insects and the more amazing they’ve become to me, the more strange it seems that we kill them without the least thought."
One thing I do know; your chirping on the subject will be most welcome.