Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Chinese Fighting Crickets

Thanks to the Christmas break I've had the chance to read a few books such as "Bugs in the System" by May R. Berenbaum. In the chapter on behavior there is a short section on Chinese Fighting Crickets. Being the skeptic that I am, I immediately thought that this was worthy of the Uncyclopedia. However, a bit more research backed up the fact that the Chinese have been running this sport for many centuries.

May writes, "As soon as immature crickets are old enough to be sexed, males are caged in elaborate houses and solicitously fed vegetables, fruits, chopped fish, and event honey as a tonic."

The crickets engage in a multi-stage battle starting with antennae fencing, then displays of spread mandibles, leading into interlocking of the mandibles and finishing up with wrestling. The contest can be stopped at any stage by one of the crickets retreating. The losing contestant won't fight for 24hrs unless tossed in the air by it's trainer.

It makes flea circuses in comparison look positively calm affairs.


May R. Berenbaum: Bugs in the System, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jin, Xing-Bao: Chinese Cricket Culture, Shanghai Institute of Entomology, Academia Sinica

Mark Shwartz: Will fighting crickets unlock the mystery of human depression?, Stanford University

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