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More information can be found at the top of the blog on a separate page, but it really is easy. What are you or have you seen and enjoyed in nature? It can be from your own backyard, the local park, out on a hike or anywhere. What plants and animals catch your interest? Do you garden? Have you read a good book on nature?
Write a blog post with a photo, a story, a poem, anything goes because I love to see what Mother Nature is up to in your area. Please submit one blog post per week and link back to Nature Notes in some way.
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I needed a refresher on insect sounds…..
About 10 years ago I bought a book about the songs of insects which is now out of print. But the authors have kept their website going and it is a great place to learn about the insect sounds of summer which I love… (The insect photos are mine)
I hope this will inspire you to learn a little more about the insects in your area and what calls they make as it opens a whole new part of nature to appreciate at I do now…
The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Hershberger is the book I have and here is what they say about using their website….
The high-pitched songs of crickets, katydids, grasshoppers, and cicadas are a prominent element of summer and early fall in most of North America. These wonderful musicians chirp, click, zip, rattle, and lisp from trees, shrubs, lawns, fields, woodlands — from just about all habitats, and sometimes from inside our homes.
Finding and identifying a singing insect can be a wonderful challenge. These pages will expose you to over 70 common and widespread species, and will help you identify many of the singers that you will hear in your immediate surroundings and in the countryside far from home. With the help of a flashlight and considerable patience, you will be able to track down individual singers and perhaps even view a singing performance firsthand!
Our Insect Musicians: You can look by group or by species using the thumbnails on the web site…., Crickets ,Katydids ,Grasshoppers (Locusts). Cicadas
Thumbnail Guide to All Species
Biology of Insect Song
Singing insects produce sounds in a variety of ways. Members of the order Orthoptera typically create sounds by “stridulation,” which is the rubbing of one body part against another. Among crickets and katydids, the base of the forewings are specially modified for sound production . A sharp edge or “scraper” is located on the upper surface of the lower wing and is rubbed against a row of bumps known as the “file” on the underside of the upper wing. Sounds produced in this fashion range from melodic trills or chirps of crickets to the high-pitched raspy squawks, buzzes, and shuffles of katydids and grasshoppers..
During sound production, crickets and katydids elevate their wings and then move them back and forth rapidly. The wings vibrate as a result of the scraper rubbing against the file and setting the wings in motion. Among field and ground crickets, the wings are held above the body at a moderate angle with the wings spread slightly to the sides. The tree crickets hold their wings nearly vertically above their bodies while singing. Katydids barely elevate their wings, just raising them enough above their bodies so that the wings can vibrate.
Scudderia bush katydid
Although our native grasshoppers (Acrididae) do not stridulate with their wings, many do stridulate using their hind legs against the closed wings. Short peg-like bumps on the inside of their hind femurs function something like the file, the edge of the closed wing acts as the scraper. They can only produce sound on the downward motion of the leg against the wing as the pegs would snag on the edge of the wing on up stroke. Singing males can be recognized by the rapid up-and-down motion of their hind legs, one going up while the other is going down. Sounds produced in this fashion are quite and shuffling in quality. Band-winged grasshoppers may also “crepitate” in flight by snapping their wings taught or clapping their wings together over their bodies creating a crackling or buzzing sound.
Red-legged Grasshopper-Melanoplus (male)
In contrast to the Orthopterans, male Cicadas have a pair of special sound-producing organs or “tymbals” located on the sides of the basal abdominal segment, just behind their wings. The contraction of muscles causes ribs in the tymbal to bend suddenly producing sounds that resonate within the large tracheal air sac within the abdomen. Cicadas produce the loudest of insect sounds, far surpassing the volume and range of Orthopteran singers.
Below from Lang Elliott-A lovely setting for this little Long-spurred meadow katydid as he sings on a sunny afternoon. A slow motion segment helps us to see what the wings are really doing while he sings.©2010 Wil Hershberger, The Music of Nature, http://www.musicofnature.org
What are you seeing in nature? It can be from your own backyard, the local park, out on a hike or anywhere. What plants and animals catch your interest? What do you find interesting in nature? Take a photo, write a post, a story, a poem, anything goes because I love to see what Mother Nature is up to in your area. PS..please check back and visit bloggers who post later in the week!
Have a wonderful week from Michelle