CRICKET (OF. crequet, Fr. criquct;, ulti mately imitative in origin). Any of the salta torial insects of the orthopterous family Gryl lida-, distinguished from the Loeustida. by the cylindrical spear-shaped ovipositor of the female. The family contains three very distinct groups: (1) Mole-crickets (q.v.), with fore legs devel open for burrowing; (2) tree-crickets (q.v.) : (3) true crickets, including the common field and house crickets. Most of them in all parts of the world arc black or of some dull color, and are mainly nocturnal. They are herbivorous, and the American black field-crickets are most abundant in neglected fields, or where layers of old straw, etc., give them warmth and hiding. They dig holes in the ground and sit there dur ing the day, chirping, as if with contented enjoy ment, and going abroad at night; but any dis turbance near them will produce instant quiet. Their eggs are laid in the loose soil, chiefly in the autumn, and hatch in the spring, few adults surviving the winters of cold climates. The com monest species in the northeastern United States (Grytills Wet/Ire/us) occasionally comes into houses; but the house-cricket proper is a Euro pean one (Gryllus domesticus) which habitually domesticates itself, and is especially fond of the crevices about old-fashioned fireplaces, where its merry chirping has woven itself into the romance and poetry of all Western nations, as a sound suggestive of domestic cheer. This species is now acclimatized in Canada and some of the Northeastern States. The wingless crickets are represented in the United States by a species (Ccuthophilus maculatus) common in New Eng land.
The chirping of these insects, which begins in midsummer, is produced by rubbing a file-like ridge of one wing over a scraping surface of the other. Only the males have these organs, and it
Indies, it has become popular with the natives. In America, it is played in certain portions of the United States and in the larger cities of Canada. The rules which govern the game all over the world are those made by the Marylebonc Cricket Club of London, and from time to time is generally agreed that the sounds serve either to call or excite the mute females. A certain Sicilian species is said to make a noise audible a mile away. The apparatus and the musical characteristics of the sound have been exhaustive ly studied by S. H. Scudder, who says that the notes of the black field-cricket are pitched at E natural, two octaves above middle C. The songs of other sorts of crickets vary from this, each in its own way. To this same group belong some curious forms of the tropics in which "the front of the head is produced into a leaf-like projection." Another group are of very diminu tive size, and resemble minute roaches; one genus (Myrniecophila) dwells altogether in the nests of ants, both in Europe and in America, our representative being Myrmecophila pergandi. Other species are among the insects inhabiting eaves. Consult: Howard and Marlatt. "Principal Household Insects of the United States," in United States Department of Agriculture, Divi sion of Entomology, Bulletin 4, new series (Washington, 1396). See CAVE ANIMALS and SYMBIOSIS, and compare LOCUST; KATYDID; MOLE-CRICKET; and TREE-CRICKET.