Chronobiology of crickets: a review

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Crickets provide a good model for the study of mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms and photoperiodic responses. They show clear circadian rhythms in their overt behavior and the sensitivity of the visual system. Classical neurobiological studies revealed that a pair of optic lobes is the locus of the circadian clock controlling these rhythms and that the compound eye is the major photoreceptor necessary for synchronization to environmental light cycles. The two optic lobe clocks are mutually coupled through a neural pathway and the coupling regulates an output circadian waveform and a free-running period. Recent molecular studies revealed that the cricket's clock consists of cyclic expression of so-called clock genes and that the clock mechanism is featured by both Drosophila-like and mammalian-like traits. Molecular oscillation is also observed in some extra-optic lobe tissues and depends on the optic lobe clock in a tissue dependent manner. Interestingly, the clock is also involved in adaptation to seasonally changing environment. It fits its waveform to a given photoperiod and may be an indispensable part of a photoperiodic time-measurement mechanism. With adoption of modern molecular technologies, the cricket becomes a much more important and promising model animal for the study of circadian and photoperiodic biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-632
Number of pages9
JournalZoological science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014


  • circadian rhythm
  • clock gene
  • cricket
  • molecular oscillation
  • photoperiodism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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