When another cricket confronts a singing male, the two insects determine each other's sex by touching their antennae.
If it turns out that both crickets are male, the contact leads to a fight.
In the early 12th century the Chinese people began holding cricket fights.
The imperial gardeners grew custom-shaped molded gourds tailored to each species of cricket.Their trade secrets were lost during the Chinese Civil War and the Cultural Revolution, but crickets remain a favorite pet of the Chinese to the present day.The Japanese pet cricket culture, which emerged at least a thousand years ago, has practically vanished during the 20th century.Chinese cricket culture and cricket-related business is highly seasonal.The fact that only males sing, and only males fight, means that females have little value as pets apart from breeding.
Chinese keepers feed young home-bred females to birds as soon as crickets display sexual dimorphism.Gourds and ceramic jars are used as permanent cricket homes in winter and summer, respectively.They are treated with special mortar to enhance the apparent loudness and tone of a cricket's song.The life cycle of a cricket usually spans no more than three months.The larvae of the field cricket hatch from eggs in 7–8 days, while those of Acheta domesticus develop in 11–12 days.Ground-dwelling field crickets use their funnel-shaped burrow entrances as acoustic horns; Oecanthus burmeisteri Chinese handlers increase the apparent loudness of their captive crickets by waxing the insects' tympanum with a mixture of cypress or lacebark pine tree sap and cinnabar.