National Geographic : 1953 Sep
390 National Geographic Photographer Willard t. Culver Jimminy Cricket, Symbol of Cheer, Becomes a Homed Monster by Camera Magic Chirping on a hearth, the little insect enjoys a reputation as a gentle harbinger of good luck. In its own clement it fights as grimly as any other creature to stay alive. Like its near relatives, katydids and grasshoppers, Acheta domesticus has biting mouth parts. Although a vegetarian by choice, the cricket readily eats other insects. If caged without other food, crickets will devour each other. During their stay at National Geographic headquarters, crickets from a Georgia live-bait hatchery were fed apples and lettuce. Here one, greatly magnified, perches on a bit of apple. Most crickets lay their eggs in the ground in summer or autumn. Others bore into trees or shrubs. Eggs hatch the following summer if laid in the fall; older crickets usually die when winter arrives.