Do Crickets Molt

Do Crickets Molt ?

Crickets, like a few animal species, also undergo molting. From the time they hatch from the eggs laid by female crickets, the new born crickets are not fully developed. They may look like miniature adult crickets but do not have wings. The immature crickets, also known as nymphs, go through several molting cycles before they reach adulthood. These insects go through incomplete metamorphosis. Each molting cycle leaves them longer but in the immediate aftermath they are most susceptible to predators because of their white color. They serve as possible prey for species like birds, bigger insects and even reptiles.

With the intake of food and water they grow in size and muscle. With progressive growth they also outgrow their exoskeletons. When they do finally get rid of their exoskeletons, they exist in a rubber like state, extremely vulnerable to predators too.

The typical chirps that crickets make is normally emitted by the male of the species which produces this sound by rubbing his wings. It serves as a mating call and a warning to other males to mark territorial boundaries. Females lay eggs using their ovipositors and cerci which are situated in the abdominal region. Ovipositors are sheath like appendages that will enable the female crickets to lay their eggs in suitable and safe places. Moist soil, decaying plant materials and cool, undisturbed places are popular choices. The lifecycle of the cricket starts with the females normally laying their eggs just before winter begins.

As spring sets in the nymphs emerge. This normally happens around 15 to 25 days of laying the eggs. What these nymphs lack are wings and in case of female nymphs, ovipositors. After around 12 weeks and quite a few molting cycles, the nymphs have grown into adults. These adults have fully developed reproductive organs and wings. Even though wings do not enable them to fly in the normal sense of the word, crickets have great jumping abilities.

The development of crickets is swifter in warmer climes. In such regions, every year can see the growth and development of at least three generations of crickets. Colder climes are not conducive to such swift reproduction.

Crickets can also find living space both indoors and outside. They can eat almost anything and this helps them survive almost anywhere. Fruits and vegetable along with paper products and fabric and even soft furnishings can make a meal for a cricket.

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