Adaptation- The Call

    An important adaptation in Oecanthus fultoni is the capability to stridulate, a term for chirping. Only the males have the ability to call; they chirp to attract females. To learn more about the mating process visit the reproduction page.
    Oecanthus fultoni
is often called the thermometer cricket because males change their chirp rate according to the surrounding temperature. A formula that is used to roughly calculate temperature is to count the number of chirps in 13 seconds and then add 40 (Forrest 2013). This gives you the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. At colder temperatures the male rubs his wings together more slowly, so the pitch and pulse rate decreases (Walker 1962). A pulse correlates to one wing rub and in Oecanthus fultoni a chirp consists of 5-8 pulses (Walker 1962). Hence, chirp rate decreases because their chirps are made up of a number of pulses. Thomas J. Walker (2010) found that the opposite is also true; chirp rate increases as temperature increases.

    Have you ever noticed on a cool summers evening that the crickets seem to be chirping in synchrony? That is because they are! Oecanthus fultoni is one of the few species of tree crickets that create a regular chirp and can chirp in unison with surrounding male's (Walker 1969). If an individual male is out of sync he either lengthens or shortens his chirp to get in rhythm with the others. A male can adjust his chirp interval to be in harmony with the surrounding chorus, but he does not coordinate pulses (Walker 1969).

    If you go on the Entomology & Nematology website, you can listen to a variety of the snowy tree cricket's calls and chouses at different temperatures.


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