top of page



Here in the next articles .. we will review the cricket species  for Vivarium keeping Not as a live food . Due to it's size , colors or strange shapes .. 


A pet cricket and his container made of a gourd. Watercolor by Qi Baishi(1864–1957).

Keeping crickets as pets as seen at emerged in China in early antiquity. Initially, crickets were kept for their "songs" (stridulation). In the early 12th century the Chinese people began holding cricket fights.[note 1] Throughout the Imperial era the Chinese also kept pet cicadas and grasshoppers, but crickets were the favorites in the Forbidden City and with the commoners alike. The art of selecting and breeding the finest fighting crickets was perfected during the Qing dynasty and remained a monopoly of the imperial court until the beginning of the 19th century.


The Imperial patronage promoted the art of making elaborate cricket containers and individual cricket homes. Traditional Chinese cricket homes come in three distinct shapes: wooden cages, ceramic jars, and gourds. Cages are used primarily for trapping and transportation. Gourds and ceramic jars are used as permanent cricket homes in winter and summer, respectively. They are treated with special mortar to enhance the apparent loudness and tone of a cricket's song. The imperial gardeners grew custom-shaped molded gourds tailored to each species of cricket. Their trade secrets were lost during theChinese Civil War and the Cultural Revolution, but crickets remain a favorite pet of the Chinese to the present day. The Japanese pet cricket culture, which emerged at least a thousand years ago, has practically vanished during the 20th century.


Chinese cricket culture and cricket-related business is highly seasonal. Trapping crickets in the fields peaks in August and extends into September. The crickets soon end up at the markets of Shanghai and other major cities. Cricket fighting season extends until the end of autumn, overlapping with the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day. Chinese breeders are striving to make cricket fighting a year-round pastime, but the seasonal tradition prevails.


Modern Western sources recommend keeping pet crickets in transparent jars or small terrariums providing at least two inches of soil for burrowing and containing egg-crate shells or similar objects for shelter.[1] A cricket's life span is short: Development from an egg to imago takes from one to two months. The imago then lives for around one month. Cricket hobbyists have to frequently replace aging insects with younger ones which are either specifically bred for cricket fighting or caught in the wild. This makes crickets less appealing as pets in Western countries. The speed of growth, coupled with the ease of breeding and raising larvae, makes industrial-grown crickets a preferred and inexpensive food source for pet birds, reptiles, and spiders.

Cricket biology


Further information: Cricket (insect)


True crickets are insects of the Gryllidae, a cosmopolitan family of around 100 genera comprising some 800 species, belonging to the order Orthoptera.[2] Crickets, like other Orthoptera (grasshoppers andkatydids), are capable of producing high-pitched sound by stridulation. Crickets differ from other Orthoptera in four aspects: Crickets possess three-segmented tarsi and long antennae; their tympanumis located at the base of the front tibia; and the females have long, slender ovipositors.[3]


The life cycle of a cricket usually spans no more than three months. The larvae of the field cricket hatch from eggs in 7–8 days, while those of Acheta domesticus develop in 11–12 days. Development of the larvae in a controlled, warm (30 °C (86 °F)) farm environment takes four to five weeks for all cultivated species.[4] After the fourth or fifth larval instar the wingless larvae moult into the winged imago which lives for around one month.[5] Crickets are omnivorous, opportunistic scavengers. They feed on decaying vegetable matter and fruit, and attack weaker insects or their larvae.[note 2]

Crickets as pets

A male field cricket "sings" facing the entrance into his burrow, which serves as a resonator.

A male cricket "sings" by raising his wing covers (tegmina) above the body and rubbing their bases against each other. The wing covers of a mature male cricket have protruding, irregularly shaped veins.[6] The scraper of the left wing cover rubs against the file of the right wing, producing a high-pitched chirp.[7] Crickets are much smaller than the sound wavelengths that they emit, which makes them inefficient transducers, but they overcome this disadvantage by using external natural resonators. Ground-dwelling field crickets use their funnel-shaped burrow entrances as acoustic horns; Oecanthus burmeisteri attach themselves to leaves which serve as soundboards and increase sound volume by 15 to 47 times.[8] Chinese handlers increase the apparent loudness of their captive crickets by waxing the insects' tympanum with a mixture of cypress or lacebark tree sap and cinnabar. A legend says that this treatment was discovered in the day of the Qing Dynasty, when the Emperor's cricket, held in a cage suspended from a pine tree, was observed to develop an "unusually beautiful voice" after accidentally dipping its wings in tree sap.[9]


The fact that only males sing, and only males fight, means that females have little value as pets apart from breeding. Chinese keepers feed young home-bred females to birds as soon as crickets display sexual dimorphism.[17] There is one notable exception: males of Homoeogryllus japonicus (suzumushi or jin zhong) sing only in the presence of females, so some females are spared to provide company to the males.[17]

Pet crickets in China :


History :


The singing cricket became a domestic pet in early antiquity.[18] The ancestors of modern Chinese people possessed a unique attitude towards small creatures, which is preserved in present-day culture of flower, bird, fish, insect.[note 4] Other cultures studied and conquered big game: large animals, birds, and fishes. The Chinese, according to Laufer, were more interested in insects than in all other wildlife. Insects, rather than mammals or birds, became symbols of bravery (mantis) or resurrection (cicada), and became a precious economic asset (silkworm).[19]

The trade is driven by urban consumers.[32] As recently as 1991, from 300,000 to 400,000 people of Shanghai engaged in cricket fighting, with around 100,000 crickets fighting every day of the August–September season.[31] Dealers from a large city normally control cricket haunts within 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) of their base.[32] The dealers and aficionados from Shanghai arrive in Ningjin in groups and lodge in the villages. Unlike the peasants, they are skilled in quick evaluation of the insects and have a stronger hand in bargaining.[47] They have complex systems of ranking crickets in up to 140 grades (pinzhong).[48] They quickly get what they came for and return to their home cities. The markets that normally sell bonsai and goldfish are suddenly overwhelmed with a mass of cricket buyers and sellers.[32] Shanghai is a clear leader but the same activity takes place in all major cities.[32] Local authorities encourage the trade and organize seasonal cricket fairs.[49] 

Landscape of Shandong

Lacquer cricket container, 16th century

Between 500 and 200 B.C. the Chinese compiled Erya, a universal encyclopedia which prominently featured insects.[20] The Affairs of the period Tsin-Tao (742–756) mention that "whenever the autumnal season arrives, the ladies of the palace catch crickets in small golden cages ... and during the night hearken to the voices of the insects. This custom was imitated by all the people."[21] The oldest artifact identified as a cricket home was discovered in a tomb dated 960 A.D.[22] The Field Museum of Natural History owned a 12th-century scroll painted by Su Han-Chen depicting children playing with crickets. By this time, as evidenced in the painting, the Chinese had already developed the art of making clay cricket homes, the skills of careful handling of the insects, and the practice of tickling to stimulate them.[23] The firstreliable accounts of cricket fights date back to the 12th century (Song dynasty) but there is also a theory tracing cricket fights to the reign ofEmperor Xuanzong of Tang (8th century).[24]​


Singing and fighting crickets were the favorite pets of the Emperors of China. The noble pastime attracted the educated class, resulting in a wealth of medieval treatises on keeping crickets. The oldest one, The Book of Crickets (Tsu chi king), was written by Kia Se-Tao in the first half of the 13th century. It was followed by the Ming period books by Chou Li-Tsin and Liu Tong and early Qing period books by Fang Hu and Chen Hao-Tse.[25] According to Yutaka Suga, cricket fighting was also popular among the commoners of Beijing and they, rather than the nobles, were "the driving force behind the amusement" during the Qing period.[24] The court, in turn, forced the commoners to collect and pay their dues in fine fighting crickets, as was retold by Pu Songling in A Cricket Boy (early 18th century). In this story, which is set in the reign of theXuande Emperor, an unfortunate peasant was given the impossible task of finding the strongest prize-fighting cricket. His cricket miraculously defeated all Emperor's insects; the ending reveals that the champion was mysteriously guided by the spirit of his own unconscious child.[26]


One aspect of cricket-keeping, that of growing molded, custom-shaped gourds destined to become cricket homes, was an exclusive monopoly of the Forbidden City. The royal gardeners would place the ovary of an emerging Lagenaria fruit inside an earthen mould, forcing the fruit to take up the desired shape. The oldest surviving molded gourd, Hasshin Hyōko dated 1238, is preserved in Hōryū-ji temple in Japan. The art reached its peak in the 18th century, when the gardeners implemented reusable carved wood and disposable clay molds. The shapes of the gourds were tailored to different species of cricket: larger gourds for larger species, long-bottle gourds for the species known for long hops, and so on. Immature fruit easily reproduces the artwork carved into the mold, but also easily picks up any natural or man-made impurities. The finest craftsmen exploited, rather than concealed, these blemishes. Molded gourds were a symbol of the highest social standing. The ones held by Chinese royalty depicted in medieval portraits were actually prized cricket containers.[27] The Yongzheng Emperor held a gourd in his hand even when he was sleeping, the Qianlong Emperor maintained a private molded gourd garden. In the 1800s the Jiaqing Emperor lifted the monopoly on molded gourds, but they remained expensive even for the upper classes.[28]


At the end of the Imperial era Empress Dowager Cixi revitalized cricket fighting by staging contests between cricket breeders.[29] A cricket of her successor, the infant Emperor Puyi, became a plot device in Bernardo Bertolucci's film The Last Emperor (1987). Bertolucci presented the cricket's container as a magic black box that opens up the memories of Puyi. According to Bruce Sklarew, the cricket, mysteriously emerging from the box, carries at least three meanings: it is the metaphor of Puyi himself, it is the metaphor of his wisdom acquired through suffering, and a symbol of the ultimate freedom that comes with death.[30]


The ancient secrets of cricket handling and cricket-related crafts, only some of which were recorded on paper, were largely lost during theChinese Civil War. From 1949 to 1976[31] the Communist regime suppressed cricket keeping, which was deemed an unacceptable distraction and a symbol of the past. Cricket trade was banned altogether in the 1950s, but continued secretly even on the People's Square of Shanghai.[32] A dozen illegal markets emerged in the 1980s, and in 1987 the government formally allowed trading crickets on the Liuhe Road. By 1993 there were five legal markets,[32] and in the 21st century Shanghai has over 20 cricket markets.


Trapping :


The short life span of a cricket necessitates frequent replacement of aging insects. The crickets sold in present-day China are usually caught in the wild in remote provinces. Earlier, most crickets sold in major cities were caught in the nearby countryside, but in the 21st century a local catch, or dichong, is extremely rare.[33] The majority of crickets sold in Shanghai in the 1990s and the 2000s came from ruralNingjin County in Shandong, where cricket hunting became a second job for local peasants.[34]Practically all people of Ningjin—men and women of all ages—engage in the cricket business.[33] A peasant usually makes around 70 yuan per night, and 2000 yuan per season.[35] A very good season can bring a family over 10,000 yuan ($1,210).[36]

Cricket catching extends over August and September. Crickets are most active between midnight and dawn.[24] They are agile creatures, and when distressed they quickly hide into burrows or improvised shelter, or hop and even fly away.[37] Typical Chinese crickets hide underground,[note 5] so the catcher's first task is to either force or lure the insect out of its hideout. Trappers from the North of China use lighted candles to lure insects into their traps. Trappers from the South use iron cage-like lanterns or fire baskets to carry smoldering charcoal which forces insects to flee from the smoke. Other ways of forcing the insect out involve flooding their burrows or setting up juicy fruit baits.[38] The Ningjin trappers use a simple tool, similar to an ice pick, for digging earth and poking under stones.[39]

The trapper who has located a cricket must catch and contain the insect without causing it any injuries. Present-day trappers use zhao, a soft catching net on a wire frame, to contain the cricket on the ground. The captured crickets are then placed into a clay pot and stay there until being sold; they are fed a few boiled rice grains per day.[40] Earlier, the Chinese used cage-like traps made of bamboo or ivory rods.[38] Pavel Piassetsky, who visited Beijing in the 1880s, described a different technique. The Beijing people used two kind of tools: a bell-like bowl with a hole in its bottom, and a tube several inches long. When a cricket was forced to leave its hideout, the trapper would quickly cover it with the bell. When the trapped cricket emerged from the hole, the trapper would present the tube, and the cricket would eagerly hide inside it. The plugged tube then became a convenient cricket cage.[41]




Logistics :


In his 1927 book, Laufer described seven species of crickets kept by the people of Beijing; Oecanthus rufescens and Homeogryllys japonicus were the favorites based on their "singing" rather than fighting qualities.[42] The most common species sold by Chinese traders in the 21st century are Anaxipha pallidula, Homeoxipha lycoides, Gryllus bimaculatus.[43] Velarifictorus micado from Shandong is especially prized.[44] Ningjin peasants collect only the Velarifictorus species and discard the abundantTeleogryllus emma and Loxoblemmus doenitzii, which are not used in cricket fighting.[45] Peasants usually cannot even remotely estimate the probable market value of the catch. At best, they can sort crickets by size; their objective is to sell the catch to the wholesalers as soon as possible.[46] They offload their catch at the local roadside markets (daji) in the early morning, immediately after the night shift. They frequently overstate their selling skills: many crickets remain unsold and are discarded.[35]

Pet market in Linxia City

Fighting and gambling:


Main article: Cricket fighting


Cricket fighting is a seasonal sport, "an autumn pastime" (qiu xing) that relies on the supply of wild-caught insects.[44] Young crickets must mature before fighting; thus the high season begins near the autumn equinox.[50] Crickets are placed in individual clay homes sprinkled with herbal medicines, bathed in licorice infusion every three to five days and fed according to each owner's secret recipes.[51] The traditional diet of captive crickets, described by Laufer, consisted of seasonal green vegetables in the summer and masticated chestnuts and yellow beans in winter. The Southern Chinese also fed their crickets chopped fish, insects and honey. Fighting crickets were given a special treatment of rice, lotus seeds, and mosquitoes, and an undisclosed herbal stimulant.[52]

A set of small tube-like cages for fighting crickets​

The owners closely watch the cricket's behavior for signs of discomfort, and adjust the diet to bring the fighters into shape.[53] The crickets are mated with females before the fight, as the Chinese believe that, unlike other beings, male crickets become more aggressive after having sex.[50] In Laufer's time the fighters were sorted in three weight classes; present-day Shanghai aficionados have a system of nine classes from 0.51 to 0.74 grams. Both sides in a fight should belong to the same class, thus before the fight the crickets are weighed on high-precision scales (huang). The units of cricket weight, zun and dian, are not used anywhere else.[54]


The fights are held outdoors[55] in an oval ring (douzha),[54] which was traditionally a flat clay pot but is more commonly a plastic container today. Crickets are stimulated with a tickler (cao) made of a rat's whisker hairs (Beijing style) or of fresh grass strands (Shanghai style).[56] The handler tickles the cricket's head, then the abdomen, and finally the hind legs.[57] Each fight consists of three or five bouts; the winner must score in two of three or three of five bouts. A bout is stopped when the triumphant winner extends his wings as a sign of victory, or when his opponent flees from the action.[58] Laufer wrote that the fights of his time usually ended in the death of one of the crickets: The winners physically beheaded their opponents.[57] Present-day fights may look vicious but are not lethal; the loser is always allowed to flee from the winner.[44]


A winning cricket progresses from fight to fight to the rank of "the General". Laufer wrote that the people of Whampoa buried their dead fighting champions in tiny silver coffins. According to a local tradition, a proper burial of a "general" ensures a good catch of wild crickets.[59] Live champion fighters sell for hundreds, rarely thousands of U.S. dollars.[44] The highest price for a single cricket was recorded in 1999 at 100,000 yuan ($12,000).[36] The lowest price, of around 1 yuan, is for the mute and shy females that still have some value as consorts to the fighting males. The cheapest males sell for five yuan.[36]


Betting on cricket fights is outlawed throughout the PRC but widespread on the streets. In 2004 Shanghai police reported that it had raided 17,478 gambling places involving around 57,000 people. One such place specializing in cricket fights was located in an old factory building and had around 200 patrons, men in their forties and fifties, when the police arrived.[60] Bets at this place started at 5,000 yuan ($600).[60] According to an anonymous source of China Daily, secretive and elusive "luxury games" take place not in Shanghai but in the outlying provinces.[36]Official attitudes about fighting vary from region to region: Hong Kong banned fights altogether; Hangzhou regulates it as a professional sport.[44]

Cricket homes :


Male crickets, whether held for fighting or for singing, always live in solitary individual homes or containers. Laufer in his 1927 book wrote that Chinese people sometimes hoarded hundreds of singing crickets, with dedicated cricket rooms filled with many rows of cricket homes. Such houses were filled with "a deafening noise which a Chinese is able to stand for any length of time".[61] Present-day cricket containers take three different shapes: cages are used for trapping and transportation, ceramic jars or pots are used in the summer and autumn, and in the winter the surviving crickets are moved intogourds.[62]

Wooden cages made of tiny rods and planks were once the most common type of insect house. The people of Shanghai and Hangzhou areas still use stool-shaped cages for keeping captive grasshoppers. Elsewhere, cages were historically used for keeping captive cicadas. They were suspended outdoors, at the eaves of the houses and from tree branches. Their use declined when the Chinese concentrated on keeping crickets. Small cages are still used for transporting crickets. Some are curved to follow the shape of a human body; crickets need warmth and prefer to be kept close to the body. The cage is placed in a tao, a kind of protective silk bag, and is ideally carried in the pocket of a shirt.[63] A special type of funnel-shaped wire mesh cage is used to temporarily contain the cricket while its main home is being cleaned.[6]


Ceramic jars or pots with flat lids, introduced in the Ming period, are the preferred type of container for keeping the cricket in summer. Some jars are shaped as a gourd but most are cylindrical. Thick clay walls effectively shield the cricket from excessive heat. Ceramic pots are used for raising cricket larvae until the insect matures to the point when it can be safely transported in a cage or a gourd. The bottom of the jar is filled with a mortar made of clay, lime, and sand. It is levelled at a slant angle of about thirty degrees, smoothed, and dried into a shiny solid mass. In addition to shaping the cricket's habitat, it also defines the acoustic properties of a cricket house. Inside, the jar may contain a cricket "bed" or "sleeping box" (lingfan) made of clay, wood, or ivory, and miniature porcelain "dishes".[64]


Pet crickets spend winters in a different type of container made of a gourd (the hard-shelled fruit of Lagenaria vulgaris). The bottoms of the gourds are filled with lime mortar. The carved lids can be made of jade, coconut shell, sandalwood and ivory; the most common motif employs an ornament of gourd vines, flowers, and fruits. The thickness of the lid and the configuration of vents in it are tailored to enhance the tone of a cricket's song.[65] The ancient art of growing molded gourds was lost during the Cultural Revolution, when the old pastime was deemed inappropriate for Red China. 20th-century cricket enthusiasts like Wang Shixiang had to carve their gourds themselves.[66] Contemporary cricket gourds have carved, rather than naturally molded, surfaces. Molded gourds are being slowly re-introduced since the 1990s by enthusiasts like Zhang Cairi.[67]

Pet crickets in Japan :


The two species most esteemed in Japan, according to Huber et al., are the Homoeogryllus japonicus(bell cricket, suzumushi) and the Xenogryllus marmoratus (pine cricket, matsumushi).[68][note 6] Lafcadio Hearn in his 1898 book named the third species, kirigirisu (Gampsocleis mikado).[69] The Japanese identified and described the most musical cricket haunts centuries ago, long before they began keeping them at home.[70] According to Hearn, the Japanese esteemed crickets far higher than the cicadas, which were considered "vulgar chatterers" and were never caged.[71]


Suzumushi (Homoeogryllus japonicus)

Japanese market scene by Torii Kiyohiro, around 1750. The trader on the right sells cages for crickets.

The first poetic description of matsumushi is credited to Ki no Tsurayuki (905 A.D.).[72] Suzumushi is featured in an eponymous chapter of the The Tale of Genji (1000–1008 A.D.) which, according to Hearn, is the oldest Japanese account of an insect hunt.[73] Crickets and katydids (mushi) were the staple symbols of autumn in haiku poetry.[74] The Western culture, unlike its Japanese counterpart, regards crickets as symbols of summer. American film producers routinely insert clips of cricket sounds 


to tell the audience that the action takes place in summer.[75]


Cricket trade emerged as a full-time occupation in the 17th century.[74] The poet Takarai Kikaku complained that he could not find any mushiya(cricket dealers) in the city of Edo; according to Hearn this meant that he expected to find such dealers there.[76] Tokyo lagged behind other cities; regular trade there emerged only at the end of the 18th century.[77] A food vendor named Chuzo, who collected crickets for fun, suddenly discovered considerable demand for them among his neighbors and started trading in wild crickets.[78] One of his customers, Kiriyama, succeeded in breeding three species of crickets. He partnered with Chuzo in the business, which was "profitable beyond expectations".[79]Chuzo was flooded with orders and switched exclusively to wholesale operations, supplying crickets to street dealers and collecting royalties from cage makers.[80] During the Bunsei period the government contained competition between cricket dealers by limiting them to thirty-six, in aguild known as Ōyama-Ko (after Mount Ōyama) or, alternatively, the Yedo Insect Company.[81] At the end of the 19th century cricket trade was dominated by two houses: Kawasumo Kanesaburo and his network supplied wild-caught insects, and the Yumoto house specialized in breeding crickets off-season. They dealt in twelve species of wild-caught and nine species of artificially-bred crickets.[82]


This tradition, which peaked in the 19th century, is now largely gone but crickets are still sold at pet shops.[68] A large colony of suzumushi crickets thrives at the altar of the Suzumushi Temple in Kyoto. These crickets have no particular religious significance; they are retained as a tourist attraction.[74]


Pet crickets in the West


European naturalists studied crickets since the 18th century. William Gould described feeding ant nymphs to a captive mole cricket for several months.[83] The European approach to cricket breeding has been popularized by Jean-Henri Fabre. Fabre wrote that breeding "demands no particular preparations. A little patience is enough."[84] According to Fabre, home breeding may start as early as April or May with the capture of a couple of field crickets. They are placed in a flower pot with "a layer of beaten earth" inside, and a tightly fitting lid. Fed only with lettuce, Fabre's cricket couple laid five to six hundred eggs, and practically all of them hatched.[85]


Crickets are a common subject of children's books on nature and advice on keeping pet crickets are plentiful. An ideal home habitat for a cricket is a large transparent jar or a small terrarium with at least two inches of damp soil on the bottom. There must be plenty of shelter where the crickets can hide; children's books and industrial breeders recommend egg-crate shells. The top of the terrarium must be tightly covered with a lid or nylon mesh.[86]



Industrial cricket farming :


Chinese breeders of the 21st century strive to extend the fighting season to the whole year. They advertise farm-bred "designer bugs" as super-fighters and agree that their technology is "completely counter to the natural process". However, they refuse to use hormones or the practice of arming crickets with steel implants.[44] As of 2003, these farm-bred crickets retailed for only around $1.50 a head, ten times lower than average wild-caught Shandong cricket.[44] Breeding is a risky business: Chinese cricket farms are regularly wiped out by an unknown disease.[44] Fungal diseases are manageable,[88] but crickets have no defenses against cricket paralysis virus (CrPV), which almost certainly kills the entire population. The virus was first isolated in Australia around 1970. The worst outbreak in Europe occurred in 2002. The cosmopolitan virus is carried by a multitude of invertebrate hosts, including drosophilaeand honey bees, which are not affected by the disease.[89][note 7]

The British population of Gryllus campestris was saved from extinction through deliberate breeding at theLondon Zoo.

Almost all crickets farmed in the United States are Acheta domesticus.[74] The American cricket industry does not disclose its earnings; in 1989 Huber et al. estimated it at $3,000,000 annually.[74] Most of these crickets were not pets, but fish bait and animal food. The largest shipment, of 445 metric tons, was reported by Purina Mills in 1985.[74] A decade later individual cricket farms like the Bassett Cricket Ranch in Visalia, California easily surpassed the million-dollar mark. By 1998 Bassett shipped two million crickets a week.[90] The Fluker Cricket Farm in Louisiana exceeded $5,000,000 in annual sales in 2001[91] and became a staple subject of American business school textbooks.[note 8]


Almost all crickets farmed in the United States are Acheta domesticus.[74] The American cricket industry does not disclose its earnings; in 1989 Huber et al. estimated it at $3,000,000 annually.[74] Most of these crickets were not pets, but fish bait and animal food. The largest shipment, of 445 metric tons, was reported by Purina Mills in 1985.[74] A decade later individual cricket farms like the Bassett Cricket Ranch in Visalia, California easily surpassed the million-dollar mark. By 1998 Bassett shipped two million crickets a week.[90] The Fluker Cricket Farm in Louisiana exceeded $5,000,000 in annual sales in 2001[91] and became a staple subject of American business school textbooks.[note 8]


British zoos breed crickets in deliberate attempts to restore the nearly extinct wild populations. In the late 1980s the British population of Gryllus campestris shrunk to a single colony of around 100 individual insects. In 1991 the species became the subject of the national Species Recovery Program. Each year, three pairs of subadult crickets were caught in the wild and bred in a controlled lab environment to preserve the gene pool of the mother colony. The London Zoo raised 17,000 crickets; the field biologists laid down seven new cricket colonies, four of which survived into the 21st century. The program became a model for similar efforts in other countries.[93] In the same period the London Zoo bred the more demanding wart-biter (Decticus verrucivorus), also resulting in the establishment of persistent colonies in the wild.[88]

Notes :


  •  Yutaka Suga, p. 79, discusses another theory dating cricket fights to the 8th century. However, the earliest reliable evidence is dated 12th century.

  • Jump up^ Levchenko, p. 125, warns against uncontrolled feeding of crickets to spiders immediately before and during moulting. A cricket will eagerly attack a much larger but defenseless moulting spider.

  • Jump up^ This is a simplified model of Teleogryllus commodus behaviour. Huber et al., pp. 48–54, discuss various other means of sexual recognition in different species.

  • Jump up^ See Suga, pp. 77–78, for a review of the evolution of flower, bird, fish, insect culture.

  • Jump up^ Burrowing crickets use funnel-shaped entrances to their nests as natural resonators to amplify their songs. A singing cricket literally faces its own burrow and can instantly hide underground. – Huber et al., p. 44.

  • Jump up^ Contemporary English translators renders suzumushi as bell cricket, matsumushi as pine cricket – see translator's notes to The Tale of Genji, pp. 445 and 1135.

  • Jump up^ Honey bees suffer from two related but different viruses – acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), discovered in 1863. – Christian and Scotti, p. 310.

  • Jump up^ The Fluker case studies are discussed in Steven P. Robbins (2001). Organizational Behavior. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-189095-6.; Garnter and Bellamy (2009). Enterprise. Cengage Learning. ISBN 0-324-13085-6; Thill and Bovee (1999). Excellence in business communication. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-781501-8 etc.



If you have more than 1 cricket 
and they are different sexes


Like, most any other red-blooded, American bug, Mr. Cricket may wish to marry. After he becomes one with his beloved, she will want to lay her eggs on something damp. Once a female lays her eggs, remove the eggs and place them in a separate container containing moist soil. Keep the soil and environment of the egg container moist (but not so moist that the hatchlings drown; their brains are even tinier than those of their parents), misting it with water daily. The eggs should hatch in about three weeks (when exactly depends on the temperature), and the babies ("nymphs") will be very small and white. 


After they've grown up a bit and have molted a few times, you can put them in the first container and let them metaphorically "sit at the big people's table." Some people have bar-mitzvahs for their crickets at this time, but others think the idea a tad extravagant. I can assure you that, in either case, your cricket will be entirely unable to memorize any Hebrew. The good news, though, is that as long as there's enough food, the young crickets and adults should get along fine together. 


The lifespan of the most commonly sold cricket in bait shops or pet stores -- Acheta Domesticus -- is 8 to 10 weeks, which is a very brief span of time to us, but like millennia to them since one day is as a year to these creatures, and their deaths at 10 weeks (70 days) is like a human's death at 70 years. So don't cry too hard when their time is up; just be grateful to have had such good times together.







How to Keep a Cricket for a Pet


Crickets have been kept as pets for thousands of years, especially in Japan and China, because, as God would have it, the males rub their grooved ridges on the underside of one of their front wings against the sharp edge of their other front wing, producing a chirping that's found by many to be a lovely sound. 

If you want to keep a cricket as a pet, first you have to get one. Most garden variety crickets that you could catch yourself will do the trick: in North America the Acheta assimilis species will be the most commonly found in the wild. The "house cricket" (Acheta domesticus) and the "field cricket" (Gryllus bimaculatus) are also good for singing -- the latter having the prettier song, the former being the type most commonly sold in pet stores or bait shops. 


Whatever the species, you want a boy cricket for the tunes. A girl cricket will have an ovipositor to lay her eggs with. It will look sort of like a tail or a phallus, and will be almost as long as her body. In other words, when you see a female cricket, you'd probably guess her as a male because of the appendage, so reverse your expectations.

What you Need :


A place for him to lay his weary cricket head


An aquarium with a fine wire mesh lid will work. So would a jar, but be a hero and give him some Lebensraum. Put some sand, a few rocks and twigs in there so he'll be cozy and have a few hidey-holes to relax in. Though he can be kept at room temperature, he will be more active and sing more if kept on the warm side -- between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping him near a small lamp might make him happy, but do keep him out of direct sunlight. Ideally, there should be about 16 hours of light to 8 hours of darkness for most kinds of crickets.


Water :


Keep a damp sponge or moistened cotton wool in his cage to serve as a drinking water source. Be careful about leaving any standing water in their cages as they have very tiny brains, are not very bright, and can drown very easily in even the shallowest of water. If you want to leave a container of water with him, put some marbles or rocks in with the water so he can drink it without standing in it or possibly falling into it. Another option is to use the same type of water dispenser that baby chicks use, filling the bowl with marbles or rocks. 


If you use a damp sponge or moistened cotton wool, and if you have any pregnant females, she will lay her eggs on them (see below). So, if you are planning on keeping crickets of more than one sex, use the dish and rock set-up or a chick water dispenser, and provide a wet, damp sponge just for the female's eggs.


Food :


Despite their preference for Greek food, crickets will eat anything. They are omnivorous (though in the wild some species are carnivorous by choice) and they will even eat each other if they are hungry enough. That last is too ugly to think about and even uglier to witness, so feed them well with small bits of carrot, potato, lettuce, apple, other fruits and vegetables and their peelings (no citrus), rolled oats, pieces of bread, and/or ground up dried dog food. Remove uneaten food so it won't rot. If you want to highly please him, you can get actual "cricket chow" from bait shops and cricket breeders. Even if you use true "cricket chow," throw him a piece of fruit now and again to keep him happy. 


His, er, excretions will be the same size as cricket eggs (if you have any females), but the former will be black and the latter will be a creamy-white color. The excrement must be cleaned out of the cage weekly (or more often if you have a lot of crickets).







Italian Cricket Song

Grillo, mio Grillo
Se tu vo' moglie dillo! 
Se poi t'un la voi, 
Abbada a' fatti tuoi!   Cricket, my Cricket,
If you want a wife say so!
If later you repent
Then hold your peace!




Crickets are also known as the "poor man's thermometer." You can determine the exact temperature by counting the number of chirps a cricket makes during a 15-second interval, then adding 37 to the number to get the correct temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. If he chirps 40 times in 15 seconds, the temperature is precisely 77 degrees where the cricket is sitting.

Cricket caresheet


Crickets belong to the Order Orthoptera (which also includes the Grasshoppers) and have been kept in captivity for thousands of years as the singing of the adult males is considered pleasant by many people.




An aquarium with a tight fitting wooden lid makes a good cage, the lid is to prevent the crickets from jumping out, it needs to have ventilation holes and a fine wire mesh is ideal. Though they can be kept at room temperature (20°C), in colder climes they will be more active and sing better if given some warmth. An electric light or a heat pad are useful heat sources and around 30°C degrees is ideal for most species.


Most species of cricket seem happy with a regime of 16 hours of daylight to 8 hours of night including the primarily nocturnal Acheta domesticus. Most species need some sort of cover to hide in, egg cartons, the cardboard inner rolls from toilet rolls and inverted polystyrene cups all make suitable hideaways.




All crickets are omnivorous and in the wild some species are carnivorous by choice. If crickets are not kept well fed they will prey on one another. A combination of rolled oats with fresh fruit and vegetables is a good diet. You should also removed any uneaten fruit before it goes mouldy.

Water :


Water should be made available in a shallow bowl filled with cotton wool which should be changed as it gets dirty, alternately water can be supplied in mini inverted drinkers similar to those used for poultry.


Breeding :


The females will lay their eggs in the damp cotton wool which should be changed twice a week. The old cotton wool should be placed in a well ventilated plastic box in a warm airing cupboard. The eggs should hatch in a week or two, depending on the temperature. The young and the adults can be kept together providing they have plenty of food.







Suggested species


-House Cricket (Acheta domesticus)

-Field Cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus)

House Cricket (Acheta domesticus).​



courtesy to :

Have you ever considered having a chirping cricket as a house pet? Here are some facts and tips for creating a happy atmosphere for a pet cricket in your home.




-A field cricket is shiny black, with brown wings. Despite Disney’s Jiminy Cricket, there is no such thing as a green cricket.

-A fully-grown male is less than an inch long, while the female cricket is about 50 percent longer.

-Only male crickets can sing.

-Crickets, unlike grasshoppers, are short and stubby, and won’t jump, except in desperation.

-Female crickets lay their eggs in the fall. When they hatch in May or early June there are thousands of tiny black crickets, but by July they are bigger and large enough to start singing.

-To sing, male crickets lift their wing casings at a 45 degree angle and rub them together.

-Crickets can eat and sing at the same time.

-Like all insects, crickets are cold-blooded and they sing faster or slower depending on the temperature.

Did you know? To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature.


Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F




  • A medium sized pickle jar with small holes punched in the lid makes a wonderful cricket home. A fishbowl or terrarium covered with wire mesh can also do the trick.

  • Add sand or clean soil and leaves to the bottom of the jar. A piece of bark can also create a comfortable atmosphere for your cricket.

  • The best place to catch a cricket is inside your house. In the fall, crickets come inside, attracted by the warmth.

  • Once you catch your cricket, wrap him loosely in a handkerchief and transfer him into his jar. A newly caught cricket will make a desperate attempt to escape, so a glass enclosed shower stall would be ideal for the transfer.

  • The cricket will need food and water every day.

  • For water, use the lid of a plastic medicine jar. It can be put in with tweezers or a bacon turner. You can fill the water dish by drawing water through a straw.

  • Crickets will eat almost anything including cornflakes, oats, granola, birdseed, lettuce, or other raw vegetables.

  • Clean the jar every two to three days.

The sad part is, a cricket’s life is very short. Typically, if you catch one in good condition in August or September, he should last till about Thanksgiving. When the time comes, bring the jar outside, say your goodbyes, wash and clean it out, and put it away for next fall.

Cricket Insect

Some Videos : 

How To Pick Up Crickets (QUICK & EASY)​

Cricket shedding exoskeleton

Recommended Books :



-  Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States 

by John L. Capinera  (Author), Ralph D. Scott (Author), Thomas J. Walker (Author)

 - All about Tree Crickets


by Nancy Collins 

 - Crickets and Grasshoppers (True Books: Animals)


by Ann O. Squire (Author)



Try Searching By Yourself in Book finder . com and Amazon . com for more result ..



Crickets :  Introduction &  Care 


Crickets Species  :  Section One  ..  Section Two  ..  Section Three 

Due to the large quantity of katydids species and the new yearly discoveries we will shortlisted the famous and most colorful and strange shape of these creatures . yet this hobby is  at the beginning and may be challenging  for the most of hobbyists .. 

Crickets :  Introduction &  Care 


Crickets Species  :  Section One  ..  Section Two  ..  Section Three 

bottom of page