Stridulation Frequency Dependence on Music Genre in Acheta domesticus


  • Michael Boachie-Mensah Texas A&M University


Crickets are mainly nocturnal species known for the loud, persistent, chirping sounds many of their species make. Cricket chirping (stridulation) is produced by stridulatory organs located on their forewings. Stridulation is done by males to entice females, but at times can lure doom, drawing predators and parasites towards them. Consequently, crickets cease chirping when they sense sound frequency vibrations nearby, indicating that a predator is nearby. In this experiment, the cricket species Acheta domesticus, of the order Orthoptera and the family Formicidae, was used to test stridulation frequency differences based on exposure to different music genres. Crickets were exposed to either silence (control), hip hop, jazz, country, or classical music. During this music exposure period, the number of chirps was counted for a minute. Stridulation frequency was 83.3 chirps per minute for the control setting, 65 chirps per minute for classical music, 61.3 chirps per minute for country music, 54 chirps per minute for jazz music, and 41 chirps per minute for hip hop music. Causative factors for this trend may be due to neurological characteristics of the cricket. A major auditory sensory neuron, Ascending Neuron 1 (AN1), is excited by both high-frequency sounds and self-generated chirps. We conclude that music genres dominated by high-frequency sounds, such as hip hop and jazz, stimulate AN1, causing increased auditory information to be sent to the brain, leading to decreased stridulation as crickets interpret this information as the presence of a possible threat.


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