Pet Crickets, just hanging around

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    These are two crickets we got at the Pet Market in Beijing.

    They’re lifespan in 100 days. In Chinese they’re called ‘e-bai gougur’, i.e. 100 day insects. Crickets are very popular in China, for example, our taxi driver had two with him, lovingly kept in a small gourd inside his shirt. They chirp all day long and keep him company.

    A few things I learnt since we got them.

    Talk to them and they come to life. They sleep a lot. Usually handing upside down.

    They respond to music, esp soft rhythms and classical, not hard rock.

    They sing when lonely, looking for a mate, or when threatened.

    Don’t use a flash if taking photos. They have no eyelids and get blinded/stunned.

    Don’t put them together. They fight for dominance.

    Don’t try to hold them – you’ll snap their legs by accident. Caress them away from you, i.e. outwards; go with the grains, so to speak.

    Don’t give them cucumber – it gives them diarrhea. I know...

    They bite, so be careful. Doesn’t break the skin, but surprising all the same.

    They like to be entertained, so a few twigs, wooden swings, and other small things amuse them. Avoid plastic toys as they will try to eat it. And don’t put water in their cage. They drown very easily. Carrots and other fruits are usually enough.

    Any questions, drop me a line.

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