After a fight, the loser sulks away while the winning cricket chases it, dancing and singing loudly.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lauren Fitzsimmons

Just like us: Crickets will dance and brag after winning a fight


The short video is fascinating. Two male crickets are fighting, biting and pushing each other. After a final blow, the loser sulks away. The winning cricket on the other hand, brags, dances and sings loudly in victory.

The video is part of a study conducted by Ontario biologists Lauren Fitzsimmons and Susan Bertram which shows for the first time that these insects display similar actions as mammals, fish and birds, changing the winning behavior according to the audience.

“It’s a way of them broadcasting to [other males] to say ‘I’m tough, I just won a fight, you don’t want to mess with me.’” – biologist Lauren Fitzsimmons

The study was conducted with three different types of ‘cricket audience’: males, females and no crickets.

“They do seem to show off when others are around”, says Fitzsimmons, a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Windsor.

“It’s a way of them broadcasting to [other males] to say ‘I’m tough, I just won a fight, you don’t want to mess with me.’”

If the audience is female, the cricket will also show off. Fitzsimmons suspects it is because females prefer dominant males.

“If they act like other animals do, then females would preferentially choose the winner of a fight to mate with… So that gives an extra incentive to the males to show off and to try to win the fight.

The research, Fitzsimmons says, demonstrates that crickets are possibly more complex than we give them credit for.

“[They] more like us, like vertebrae animals, [in] that they are able to detect when there are other around and modify their behaviour,” she says.

Fitzsimons adds that the next logical step is to study the audience’s behaviour to verify if they are paying attention, gathering information and modifying their future actions based on what they see.

The researcher also gets an audience

The results of the study were published in the journal Biology Letters. They also caught the attention of National Geographic.

“I was surprised and I was thrilled that they were interested and that it would get such a broad audience”, she says.

Just like the crickets she studies, Fitzsimmons is also happy to have an audience.

Lauren Fitzsimmons, a researcher at the University of Windsor, talks to Gilda Salomone about the brash behaviour of crickets.


External links:

Lauren Fitzsimmons’ research on cricket behaviour

National Geographic: Crickets Act Differently When Others Are Watching


Categories: Environment
Tags: ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *