This film competed in
Live Action Short Video Contest
As the cold Namibian night gives way to dawn the air is filled with the rhythmic buzzing as the armored crickets begin their morning song. Wide bodied and flightless they climb the high savanna grasses to warm themselves in the hot sun. With long serious faces and lightly waving antenna they make their way through the thorny vegetation in search of a mate. Unlike most species the male is the picky one. Much more energy is required by the male for mating and it takes him a while to recover before he can mate again. But once he has chosen a female the mating ritual begins. Their courtship is relatively long for insects starting at early sunset and lasting until sunrise. He leaves his mate with a “nuptial gift” a deposited glob of protein rich food. This gift of food increases the females’ chance of survival and also acts as a mating plug – she cannot mate again until the gift has been eaten. When she is ready to lay her eggs the female cricket digs a hole in the sand with her abdomen. After laying her eggs she carefully covers the hole and once again returns to the savanna grasses.