Insects as Thermometers


Grasshoppers

The grasshopper chirps loudest at 95°F (35°C), but is unable to chirp when the temperature falls below 62°F (17°C). Therefore, whenever you hear a grasshopper, you know the temperature is at least 62°F (17°C). The grasshopper is unable to fly at 45°F (7°C), and at 36°F (2°C) is unable to jump.

Crickets

Two species of crickets are excellent thermometers. To calculate the temperature (°F) from the house cricket's song, count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and add 39. For the degrees in Celsius add 7 to the number of chirps in 15 seconds, then multiply by 5 and divide by 9. A similar formula has been found for the White Tree Cricket, which chirps 4 times per minute for every degree of temperature above 40°F.

Katydids

The katydid's night call is most emphatic above 80°F (27°C)--katee did it!--and the cadence drops by approximately four-degree intervals to katee didn't to she didn't.

Honeybees

Honeybees cluster outside the hive when the temperature reaches 102°F (39°C), and cluster compactly inside the hive when the temperature falls to 57°F (14°C). At 48°F(9°C) the bees begin buzzing to generate heat. The bees' best working temperature is 85°F (29°C) at which they are very gentle; below 70°F (21°C) they can be very irritable.

Ants

Ants do not emerge from their underground homes until the temperature has risen to 55°F (13°C). They return home when it reaches 105°F (41°C).

At 40°F (4°C) all insects are silent, and at 34°F (1°C) all insects are helpless.

Insects as Food