a superfamily of crickets of the order Orthoptera. The body is cylindrical and usually shorter than the antennae. The elytra lie flat against the body, the left one covering the right; in males the elytra have well-developed stridulating organs. The auditory organs are located on the fore tibiae. The abdomen has long cerci; the ovipositor is slender and straight.
There are about 2,000 species, distributed in tropical and temperate zones. Most of the approximately 50 species found in the USSR belong to the family Gryllidae. The crickets are most often found in the southern Crimea, the Caucasus, and Middle Asia. They usually live in cracks in soil, under rocks, or in burrows; some inhabit human dwellings (Gryllus domesticus). Tree crickets deposit their eggs in the stems of plants, wingless crickets live in ant nests, and mole crickets (Gryllotalpidae) make passages in soil. The insects are omnivorous; some species, for example, a number of mole crickets and the desert cricket, damage plants. Control measures include the use of poisoned bait and thorough soil cultivation.