LaLaLaLaLa! Sure you might rock out to the Goo Goo Dolls, but did you know there is a rowdy bunch right beneath your feet? Check out these four tiny musical artists that could be in your backyard:
Crickets and Grasshoppers
Who isn’t familiar with these tiny musicians? Known as nature’s fiddlers, Crickets and Grasshoppers use stridulation as their favorite form of music making. Crickets have a comb like vein that runs along the bottom of each wing. These little guys make sounds when they rub the bottom of one wing along the top of the other wing. This makes a chipping noise while grasshoppers make more of a snapping or soft rattling sound. Grasshoppers make noise a little differently by snapping their wings together in flight or by rubbing their hind legs against their wings making it sound like they are shaking a rattle.
Cicada, also referred to as locust, make a very unique sound, which is often referred to as Cicada Song. They have noisemakers called “tymbals” on the sides of their abdominal base. When they contract the muscle located within the abdomen the tymbals cave inwards and make a loud clicking sound. By positioning their bodies and adjusting the speed and force of which it vibrates, they can amplify their sound.
The Tettigoniidae family, or Katydids are quite a musical bunch! These guys have noise making organs, which are also activated by stridulation. The tropical loving insects rub the back part of their front wings making a beautiful song.
Micronecta scholtzi, aka Water Boatman, would definitely be the lead singers in a band, if only the band were underwater! This tiny bug, about the size of a grain of rice can belt its song up to 99.2 decibels. This is comparable to the sound of a passing train or a live orchestra. The boatman uses this noise as a mating call. They make it by rubbing an organ along their ribbed abdomen. Unfortunately, the sound is lost when it passes from water to air, leaving the lovely inhabitants above sea level, without the beautiful song of the water boatman.
Next time you forget your iPod, fret not! Just walk outside (or stick your head under water) and listen to some sweet tunes performed your backyard rock stars. A night on the town to see a local band does not have to be too far from home!