BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD
Have you ever listened to the mesmerizing serenade of field crickets (Gryllus spp.) on a crisp autumn evening and wondered why they’re doing that? I mean, the mercury’s definitely headed south, the nights are going to become pretty chill, and those bugs’ll be belly-up before too long. Yet they’re standing on the stoop warbling impromptu a cappellas. What’s up with that?
I’ll give it to you straight: crickets or Sinatra, it all comes down to Guys and Dolls.
First, there’s An Affair to Remember.
Ok, several affairs. What can I say? The Lady is a Tramp.
A few weeks later the she cricket leaves her eggs to be fostered by soil or plant stems, then scurries away to die of exposure shortly thereafter. The guy(s) have long since split but suffer a similar fate.
The following spring their orphaned offspring hatch, molt, and become wingless nymphs — tiny versions of Mom and Pop(s). Summer is spent looking for rations and staying out of trouble, mostly. Then Autumn Leaves mean it’s time to go underground until things heat up again.
The Earth will make it’s way half-way around the Sun and then the little ones will emerge again with a song in their hearts.