At night, we often hear various sounds outside, including the buzzing and chirping of insects. But have you ever wondered which insects are responsible for making those noises? In this article, we will explore the different types of insects that you are most likely to hear during a peaceful, summer night.
Understanding the Nocturnal Insect World
If you’ve ever tried to sleep during a warm summer night, you’ve probably heard the buzzing, chirping, and clicking sounds of insects. These noises are a constant reminder of the nocturnal insect world that surrounds us. But what exactly are the insects that make noise at night?
The Cricket Symphony
One of the most recognizable sounds of the night belongs to crickets. They produce a loud, rhythmic song that is a staple of summer nights. This song serves as a calling card for male crickets, who use it to attract females. The sound is produced by rubbing their forewings together, a process called stridulation.
The Chirping of Cicadas
Cicadas are another common nocturnal insect that produces a distinctive sound. Their chirping is produced by drumming their wings together. Unlike crickets, cicadas are not looking for a mate, but rather using their calls to communicate with others of their species.
The Buzzing of Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance, but they also produce a buzzing sound that can keep you up at night. This sound is created by the beating of their wings, which can flap up to 600 times per second. Mosquitoes are attracted to human sweat and breath, so if you hear them buzzing around your head, you might want to take cover.
The Humming of Beetles
Beetles are another group of nocturnal insects that can produce a humming sound. Some species of beetles use their wings to create this sound as they fly, while others make a noise by rubbing their body parts together. One of the most famous nocturnal beetles is the firefly, whose flashing lights are also used for communication.
The Hum of Hoppers
Grasshoppers and locusts are also known for their distinctive sounds. They produce a humming or buzzing sound by rubbing their legs together. These insects are also known for their jumping abilities, which allow them to easily move through grass and other vegetation.
Why Do Insects Make Noise at Night?
So, why do insects make noise at night? The answer lies in their biology. Many nocturnal insects are active at night because it is cooler and less risky than during the heat of the day. Additionally, the darkness provides cover from predators, making it easier for them to move around and find food. The noises they produce serve various purposes, including attracting mates, communicating with others of their species, and warning off predators.
The Science of Insect Communication
Insects have evolved a variety of ways to communicate with each other. Some, like crickets and cicadas, use sound to attract mates or communicate with others of their species. Others use pheromones, chemicals that are released by one insect and detected by another. Still, others use visual cues, like the flashing lights of fireflies.
FAQs – What Insects Make The Noise at Night?
What insects make noise at night?
Many insects are active during the night, and quite a few of them make noise. The most common ones are crickets, katydids, cicadas, and grasshoppers. Other nocturnal insects that create sound include cockroaches, beetles, and some species of moths.
Why do insects make noise at night?
Most insects that make noise at night do so to attract a mate or to establish territory. Male crickets, for example, produce a chirping sound by rubbing their wings together. Females can hear this noise from a long distance away and will respond if they’re interested. Katydids make a similar sound, but it’s usually softer and more musical.
How loud can insect noises at night be?
Insect noise levels can range from a barely audible buzz to a loud, piercing sound that can be heard from several blocks away. Some species of cicadas, for example, can produce sounds that are over 100 decibels, which is about as loud as a jackhammer. However, most insect noises are not this loud and are more akin to background sounds that you might hear while camping.
How can I identify the insect making noise at night?
Identifying the insect making noise at night can be challenging, as many species produce similar sounds. However, a good place to start is to record the sound with your phone or other recording device. Once you have a recording, you can compare it to online databases or field guides that contain recordings of various insect noises. Another option is to use a smartphone app that identifies insect sounds using pattern recognition software.
Do all insects make noise at night?
No, not all insects make noise at night. Some insects, like ants and bees, are relatively quiet and mainly active during the day. Others, like mosquitoes, are more active at night but don’t produce any sound that humans can hear. It’s primarily the insects that use sound to communicate and mate that make noise at night.