The imperial gardeners grew custom-shaped molded gourds tailored to each species of cricket.
More is known about the attractive mechanism of a cricket's song.
Scientists exposed cricket females to synthesized "cricket songs", carefully varying different acoustic parameters, and measured the degree of females' response to different sounds.
Development of the larvae in a controlled, warm (30 °C (86 °F)) farm environment takes four to five weeks for all cultivated species.
A male cricket "sings" by raising his wing covers (tegmina) above the body and rubbing their bases against each other.
The fact that only males sing, and only males fight, means that females have little value as pets apart from breeding.
Chinese keepers feed young home-bred females to birds as soon as crickets display sexual dimorphism.
Ground-dwelling field crickets use their funnel-shaped burrow entrances as acoustic horns; Oecanthus burmeisteri Chinese handlers increase the apparent loudness of their captive crickets by waxing the insects' tympanum with a mixture of cypress or lacebark pine tree sap and cinnabar.
A legend says that this treatment was discovered in the day of the Qing Dynasty, when the Emperor's cricket, held in a cage suspended from a pine tree, was observed to develop an "unusually beautiful voice" after accidentally dipping its wings in tree sap.
The life cycle of a cricket usually spans no more than three months.
The larvae of the field cricket hatch from eggs in 7–8 days, while those of Acheta domesticus develop in 11–12 days.
When another cricket confronts a singing male, the two insects determine each other's sex by touching their antennae.