Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baby Crickets

After waiting all summer for the crickets we purchased to breed, we've finally got babies. I think it took so long because I had let the sand get too dry. After I added more water, eggs and babies started to appear.

Here's some photos of our mother crickets checking out the new terrarium I brought for myself and for the kindy to use. It has 14 hour day:10 hour night lighting, and under floor heating, real flash.You can tell they're girls because of the long ovipositor at the back of them and because their wings have straight veins. The dads are the ones that sing, and their wings are rougher.

Here are some of the babies not long hatched out of their eggs, on an egg carton (for chicken eggs). They're the same size as ants, but jump and have long attenae.

Here's a close up of the eggs in the sand I got from the sand pit

Try and spot them here, there are more than I've highlighted. Normally they're under the moss, but I've temporarily pulled it back to reveal them, before I covered them up again to keep them safe. That's what that long ovipositor is for, laying the eggs under the ground.


1 comment:

Hunter Park said...

Hi- can you tell me where you purchased your crickets? This sounds like a runner! We are keen insect fiends also. Also your terrarium sounds fantastic. Where did you get it and and how much $?
Kind regards
Pukerua Bay Kindergarten

From Hunter Park
Hi Ann, these are the large field cricket and should be becoming quite common in gardens about now.
if you dig a hole near were you hear them and put in a tin baited with cat biscuits and chicken mash then cover it you may well catch some. Also try looking under old mats and logs they are quite fast and do dive down burrows though.
They can also be brought from from places such as biosuppliers for around $15-$30 per 25. If you buy the young nymphs a diet of cat biscuit, chicken mash and cut blade grass (like rye grass unsprayed) will fatten them up.

More information can be found on

Some Notes
No egg development occurs below 12 degrees C, 28-30 degrees c is good.
males live 17-35 days after becoming adult, females 20-80 days.
Females lay about 160 eggs a day after mating and start about 14-21 days after becoming adult, nymphs take about 12 weeks after hatching to reach adulthood.