Coming out party

My husband raises crickets. As pets. Not food for something large and nefarious.  Anyway, one of the more fascinating things that people don’t know (or rarely see) is when a cricket sheds her (in this case) shell. I watched patiently the other night to show some of the steps.  This takes a lot of energy and although it’s a crowded terrarium, the other crickets know to leave one alone when going through the proces of old shell shedding. Here she is just about out of the old shell. She has managed to get her wings and back legs out and is resting, waiting for the last bit of energy to push out of the old shell.

Now that she is out, she sits next to the old shell, guarding it for her own meal when she regains her strength. Although it appears as though a new cricket is sitting next to the all new, larger, bright white cricket – that is her old shell. I have tried ask if there is pain in getting out of the shell and it’s not unlike the birthing process. There is slight discomfort but nothing the cricket really is aware of. Just that she has out grown the shell and it is time to leave it and move on.  In time, her new wings will turn a darker color and her body will harden. Again she is vulnerable but the others know to leave her alone. Perhaps because they themselves go through this same process.

Here she inspects and is probably nibbling a little on the old shell.  It will take awhile, but soon others will come around and help eat the shells as it contains many nutrients that are beneficial to the health and welfare of the crickets. Not soon after these photos were taken, a male cricket hopped up onto the leaf next to the glowing “angel” cricket and began to serenade her by fluttering his wings. When we hear crickets singing,When we hear crickets it is always the males. Females don’t “sing”.

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