Quiet Crickets


A recent article in The Atlantic magazine features an article about MSI PI Marlene Zuk (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) and her research into crickets on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The crickets’ population had been decreasing due to a parasitic fly, which located the crickets by their calls and placed their larvae on or near the crickets. The larvae then killed the crickets by burrowing into their bodies. More recently, the cricket population has rebounded due to a mutation that makes them silent - even when the crickets rub their wings together, there is no sound. This evolutionary change is extraordinarily fast.

Professor Zuk uses MSI resources in her studies of the Pacific field cricket and parasitic flies.

The article can be found on the The Atlantic’s website: These crickets can’t sing anymore - but they’re still trying.