Are you looking at a white cricket? Why Do Crickets Turn White? Is this cricket dying?
Is there such a thing as an albino cricket? What more should we understand about crickets to figure out why they are turning white?
In this article, we’ll find out why crickets turn white and if this is a natural part of their life.
Why Do Crickets Turn White?
Crickets need to shed their exoskeleton from time to time. The shedding process is calling molting. Once a cricket molts, the new skin is soft and white.
It will take time for the skin to darken and harden up. You may notice this happening to one cricket 8-10 times in a month.
You are looking at a nymph who is trying to become an adult. At the point of full maturity, molting will stop and mating with begin.
Why Do Crickets Shed Their Skin?
It is a part of healthy and natural life cycle for crickets to undergo molting. They need to shed their hard exoskeleton when they are growing. When a cricket sheds its skin, it looks like they are crawling out of their body.
Do not be alarmed if you see an albino cricket emerging from the exoskeleton of the old hard, dark skin. This is normal. A white cricket is delicate with a soft body for now. It will harden up very soon and the complexion will look darker once again.
Are Crickets Albino?
It is common for many species of insects to shed their skin. This process involves molting and the new skin appears to be white. When you see a cricket that is white, this is temporary.
The cricket you are noticing has undergone molting and now it looks white. This doesn’t mean that a cricket is an albino. It will take a few hours for the skin to darken up.
Sometimes it takes day or two depending on the conditions of the cricket and their surrounding environment. The keratin on the skin will harden with air exposure. Once this occurs the color will turn from white to dark.
Do Crickets Molt?
Yes. A cricket will molt 8-10 times before it reaches its full size. This could take a month or longer. During this time a cricket is still a nymph who needs to molt in order to grow.
The exoskeleton contains keratin and cannot bend or form into a longer body. It must be shed. The soft exoskeleton that emerges through molting is white in color.
In a few hours and with enough air exposure, the skin will darken up. Once a cricket stops molting, this is when they reach adulthood.
It’s time for the males to sing and find a mate to continue their reproduction cycle for new nymphs to be born and molt all over again.
Why Do Crickets Need to Shed Their Skin?
It’s normal for crickets to shed their skin. They need to do this in order to continue growing. The hard exoskeleton doesn’t allow for the cricket to grow within it. The shedding is a signal that this cricket is one step closer to reaching adulthood.
The shedding of the skin can happen 8-10 times in a period of 1 month. If you are taking care of crickets during the time when they shed their skin, please note that they are in a delicate state.
Predators would love to feast on softer, freshly molted crickets. These crickets are vulnerable as prey and usually hide out while exposed to enough air to harden up their skin within a few hours.
Do Adult Crickets Turn White?
No. Once the adult cricket has stopped molting, it will not turn white again. Crickets are trying the shed their skin as they grow up. Once they reach full adulthood, there is no need to molt any longer. The focus shifts to mating.
A white cricket is freshly molted and soft. This cricket has simply grown out of its exterior and needs to regrow a new exoskeleton.
The final molt occur in about a month in the life of a cricket. After this, molting stops because the dark colored cricket is now a fully matured adult.
Is A White Cricket Sick?
No. It may look like a weakened cricket is crawling around slowly and the skin may seem soft, but this cricket is not sick.
A brown or black cricket that doesn’t turn white is a fully grown adult. A white cricket is just growing up and needs to shed the darkened exoskeleton that is too small for it. This cricket is just developing and is not sick.
How Long Do Crickets Live?
Crickets undergo a quick life cycle that can last about 90 days. They have four stages in their life cycle:
Crickets live anywhere from 2-3 months. The nymph stage is the most interesting. During this stage, a nymph is trying to grow, but its hardened exoskeleton will not be able to keep up.
This is why the nymph sheds the exoskeleton and emerges out of it as a white cricket. This only lasts a few hours.
Once the keratin on its shell is exposed to air, the cricket will look dark once again. A white cricket is vulnerable to prey because it is soft and easy to devour.
The next time you see a white cricket, do not think that this is a rare species or an albino. This cricket is not sick. The cricket you are looking at is still a nymph who is trying to reach adulthood.
During this time, the shedding of skin or exoskeleton exposes the delicate, soft and white body of a freshly molted cricket to the world, but it doesn’t last long.
Within a few hours the skin should harden up and look darker. You have simply witnessed an integral part of a cricket’s life cycle.
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