Cricket: Courtesy Harinder Dhanoa Motihar
Cricket: Courtesy Harinder Dhanoa Motihar

Researchers have discovered a new cricket genus in the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. Within the new cricket genus, four new cricket species have also been identified from caves on a remote strip of land on the Utah-Arizona border. A notable characteristic on the newly found crickets include pincers on their hind ends.

This new cricket discovery got me thinking. Is it true a cricket’s chirp can tell the temperature? The answer is YES!

Crickets vary chirping frequencies depending on temperature. The more chirps, the warmer the temperature. To get a rough temperature estimate in degrees Fahrenheit, count the number of chirps in fifteen seconds and add thirty-seven. This number approximately equals the outside temperature. The National Weather Service Forecast Office also has a cricket chirp converter where chirp totals (in fifteen seconds) are entered and the temperature is computed.

Why do crickets chirp?
There are several postulated reasons of why crickets chirp. Four are listed below courtesy of the Library of Congress:

  • Calling to attract a female with a loud and monotonous sound
  • Courting a nearby female with a quick, softer chirp
  • Behaving aggressively during the encounter of two males
  • Sounding a danger alert when sensing trouble

How do crickets chirp?
Males are usually the noisemakers. Male crickets create a chirp by rubbing their wings together. One wing, the scraper, has a sharp ridge and the other wing has a series of wrinkles or “flies.” Tone differentiation depends on wrinkle distance.

Try this out! Pay attention to cricket chirps and see if you can determine the temperature by listening.

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