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House Cricket (Acheta domesticus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the House Cricket.

 Updated: 1/24/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org




The House Cricket is a jumping, chirping food staple that is easier to hear than see.



House Crickets can appear very similar to their cousin - the Grasshopper - but can be separated by the fact that common crickets only have 3 tarsal ('ankle') segmented body sections, and grasshoppers do not. Males are smaller in size than females, which appear to be chubbier. Both sexes have wings that sit on the abdomen and are short when compared to that of the common grasshopper. Individual coloring varies, but most are generally brown or grayish-brown. Females have a long, stiff ovipositor at the tip of the abdomen that looks a lot like a thick stinger. Crickets do not sting, nor bite. The ovipositor is used to deposit eggs into moist organic material. Juveniles have the same body shape as adults; they are just smaller and lack wings.

This species of cricket was commonly used to feed a variety of pets. Spiders, reptiles, and other animals kept in tanks at home depended on crickets for a live meal. A deadly paralyzing virus decimated House Crickets rearing labs in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe in the early 2000's, reducing their population and availability for commercial sales. The Jamaican Field Cricket is resistant to the virus and has replaced the House Cricket for commercial use. In addition to animal feed, House Crickets are also eaten by humans in many parts of the world. They are nutritious, providing a complete protein, and can be served fried, dry-roasted, or in candy.

House Crickets do still occur in the wild. They produce a very familiar nighttime chirping sound. Males do this by rubbing a scraper on one wing against a file on the other. They do this to attract females. Though both grasshoppers and crickets can make these sounds, crickets make theirs at a higher pitch. House Crickets are usually an unwanted house guest; not because they are destructive, but for their incessant, loud chirping all night. It can drive a tired person mad.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Gryllidae
          Genus: Acheta
            Species: domesticus
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Acheta domesticus
Other Name(s): Cricket on the Hearth
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 16mm to 21mm (0.62in to 0.82in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black
Descriptors: jumping, chirp, loud, small
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.