|Jumping Bush Cricket (JBC)|
I hadn't identified the bush cricket's call in the wild until Sunday night. I googled, listened to the sound file on musicofnature.org, then stepped out on the deck at Bull Creek and sure enough, there they were singing. Were they prompted by the night, still warm but with the first cold snap forecast for the next few days? Maybe it's the falling leaves, the movement of the pigmy rattlesnakes seeking their den, or the rattle of chinkapin oak acorns on the metal barn roof.
The cricket's "song" is actually stridulation, a sound produced by rubbing body parts together. These are specialty organs, frequently with a rasp-like or scraper surface. These rubbing surfaces can include legs, thoracic structures, etc. Crickets and katydids produce their sound by rubbing one wing scraper against the other wing.
|JBC stridulating- click to enlarge|
Is this the warmup of their vocalizations or their swan song of winter? Step outside and tune in to find out.
* Jumping bush cricket's song is here.
** Stridulation photograph by David M. Stone of http://thingsbiological.wordpress.com