The chirp of the cricket may soon be used to monitor their species diversity. Scientists are establishing an acoustic signal library that can help track the diversity of these insects.
Morphology-based traditional taxonomy has gone a long way to recognise and establish species diversity. But it is often not sufficient in delimiting cryptic species-- a group of two or more morphologically indistinguishable species (hidden under one species) or individuals of the same species expressing diverse morphological features (which are often classified into multiple species). Therefore, identification solely based on morphological features leads to underestimation or overestimation of species diversity.
In order to overcome this challenge, Dr. Ranjana Jaiswara, a Department of Science and Technology (DST) Inspire Faculty Fellow at the Department of Zoology, Panjab University, is working to establish a field crickets acoustic-signal library which can be used as a non-invasive tool in species diversity estimation and monitoring. The library will be a digital ones and can be used through mobile phone application for automated species recognition and discovery as well as documentation of new species of crickets from India.