This weekend is a fine time to lay back in a lawn chair, close your eyes and listen to nature. What do you hear? If you are lucky, perhaps you will hear some birds and a few insects. The dull hum of the honey bees flying from flower to flower, flies buzzing or perhaps in the evening, you may hear a cricket or katydid.
Here's a video of a field cricket singing to get you in the mood (you may or may not want to listen for the entire 2 minutes 🙂 ). Notice the wings moving. The scrapers on the wings produce the chirping sounds in crickets.
Children love to make homemade musical instruments. To imitate a cricket, find a small comb and a wooden craft stick to represent the file and scraper on the cricket's wings. Rub the craft stick along the comb. Try fast and slow.
Listen to some of the insect sounds from the links in the next activity. Design musical instruments to replicate them. Have fun!
If you live in New York City and are looking for something to do on September 11 or if you are simply interested in crickets and katydids, take a look at the event known as Cricket Crawl.
Although the title is cricket crawl, the scientists are interested in 7 insects, including a variety of katydids. The survey itself takes on a modern twist, because the researchers want citizen scientists to actually record the insects with their cellphones and then submit their recordings. The results will be posted real-time on a blog.
The website has a lot of information about singing insects, such how to identify them and links to recordings of their songs. For example, you can find out what the Indian house cricket from last week's post sounds like at Singing Insects of North America or take a look at (and a listen to) Songs of Insects, for crickets, katydids and cicadas
Here's a list of Insect Sounds (from Arizona) that include a wider variety of insects, including a cloud of midges and honey bees.
Hope you have a wonderful Labor Day and listen to some peaceful insect music!
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