Katydids and Crickets - Chorus: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Sep 14, 2016
Scientist: Thomas Walker

Katydids and Crickets - Chorus

Katydids and Crickets - Chorus
An entomologist gives us a tour of singing insects.

Katydids and Crickets - Chorus

Music; Ambience: Night time Insect Chorus

JM: There's more to a chorus of crickets and katydids than you might think! I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We're listening to a recording made one night along a wooded creek in Florida. Our guide to making some sense of these sounds is Tom Walker, an Entomologist at the University of Florida.

TW: "What you're hearing now is a great number of individuals singing at once. The very loudest sounds are made by true katydids. And then there's some fairly loud tinkling chirps that you hear occasionally coming to focus and they're made by a cricket which is called the "Colombian green trig". And then there's sort of a loud trill continuous background which is made by a great number of tree crickets of different species that are singing differently, but to us it just sounds like one fairly musical din. It's only a chorus to the human listener. It's not a chorus to the insects; it's a bunch of independent, individual insect musicians, each of whom is doing his own thing. He's making his species specific song as loud as he can as long as he can in hopes that some female will come as a result. Each male is saying "I am a male, ready to mate, of my species, I'm located here, and I hope I'm louder than any other male around so that you'll come to me, rather than him."

JM: We'll hear more about how crickets and katydids produce these sounds in future programs. Please visit our website to hear podcasts of your favorite Pulse of the Planet programs and also check out our new blog. That's at pulseplanet, one word, pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation.