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The Complete Cricket Breeding Manual

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I eople have learned to use I insect sounds to their X advantage. In Japan, people keep crickets in special cages. As long as everything is still and quiet, the cricket chirps in its cage. But if a human or large animal comes near, the cricket stops chirping.This sudden quiet warns the cricket's owner that somebody is nearby. So, think of a cricket as a reverse watchdog!

Materials

Egg cartons Paper towels

Aquarium or hamster cage with a tight-fitting screen lid Crickets Damp sponge Small jar lid

Fruit and vegetable pieces (lettuce, apples, etc.)

Place the egg cartons and crumpled paper towels in the bottom of the aquarium to give crickets a place to hide. Either catch some crickets or buy them at a pet store. Put a piece of damp sponge on a small jar lid for water. Every day, place some lettuce leaves, apple slices or other fruit and vegetable pieces in the aquarium cage and rewet the sponge. Remove the uneaten pieces of food every day so that you don't start a fly farm as well. Listen to the crickets at different times of the day and night.

Journal Notes

What time are the crickets noisiest? How long are the crickets quiet after I enter the room?

Do the crickets change their chirping speed as the weather changes?

You can use crickets as watchdogs, and you can also use them as a simple thermometer.

Although snowy tree crickets usually produce the most accurate results, you can try this experiment with any cricket you hear. Simply count the number of chirps you hear in 15 seconds and add 37. The result is approximately the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. For degrees Celsius, count the number of chirps in 15 seconds, divide by 2 and add 6.

Ation Cards

Materials

index cards Scissors Pen

### Envelope

Cut the index cards in half so that you have 4 2!^-by-3-inch (6.3-by-7.6-cm) cards. Copy the following actions based on insect sounds, one to a card. Place all four cards (including the blank one) into the envelope for safekeeping until you are ready to create your Insectigations! game.

• You are trying to sneak across the basement. If a roll of the thorax die shows you are a noisemaker, lose one turn.

• A bat is looking for dinner. If a roll of the thorax die shows you are a flying insect, go back to start.

• You are looking for a mate. If a roll of the thorax die shows you are a noisemaker, take an extra turn.

Whether or not you have learned to speak fluent cricket, or your bug buzzer creates the same pitch as a bee, the tips and tricks in chapter 6 will help you find insects wherever and whenever you want to look.