Think you've got sharp ears?
Then listen to this clip from a piece coming up on today's All Things Considered. NPR's Margot Adler needs two tries to identify a certain cricket by its sound — and she'd been studying for just such a test:
Jiminy! It's Not Easy To ID A Cricket By Its Call
Margot's story is about the NYC Cricket Crawl, an effort conducted Saturday night to, as The New York Times puts it, do something of an insect census in the city. In particular, researchers were curious about whether the "classic katydid" can still be found in Gotham. As Margot reports, it can be.
Want to hear more cricket calls so that you can try identifying them yourself? Seven species' calls are online here.
And here's a NYC Cricket Crawl question-and-answer that may impress your kids:
What is the Difference Between Crickets, Katydids, and Cicadas?
OK, the simplest answer is that crickets and katydids largely call at night while Cicadas almost entirely call during the day time. Crickets are sweet sounding and musical while katydids and cicadas are buzzy, raspy, and often a bit harsh sounding. Biologically, crickets and katydids are closely related while cicadas come from an entirely different Order of insects.
Click here to find an NPR station near you that broadcasts ATC.