Random Insect: Common tree cricket

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Female common tree cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Oecanthus sp.) photographed 09/11/213 near Clayton, Michigan.

Although not often seen, common tree crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Oecanthus sp.) can often be heard throughout much of North America in the late summer and autumn. Adult males spend a great deal of time “singing” in an attempt to attract mates. Like other crickets they rub ridges on their wings together to create sound. These particular crickets produce near-constant trilling that can be confused with the songs of cicadas or even some frogs and toads.

Females detect the serenade of males using auditory organs that are located on their front legs:

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Female common tree cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Oecanthus sp.) with tympanum (auditory organ) highlighted.  Photographed 09/11/213 near Clayton, Michigan.

After mating the females lay their eggs in the stems of a variety of plants, depending on species. Many of these crickets inhabit trees and lay their eggs in bark. Many others live in shorter foliage in more open areas and lay their eggs in the stems of goldenrods (Solidago spp., Asteraceae) and other herbaceous plants.

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Female common tree cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Oecanthus sp.) photographed 09/11/213 near Clayton, Michigan.

After overwintering as eggs in the relative safety of their host plants, tree cricket nymphs hatch in the spring. As hemimetabolous insects the nymphs resemble undeveloped, unwinged adults. They go through several molts, each appearing gradually more adult-like. By late summer they finally reach adulthood, mate, and repeat the cycle anew.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Entomology, Random Insect and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Random Insect: Common tree cricket

  1. I found a strange bug while I was photographing and have been looking for information about it. Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful. You can see my bug here http://bravonatalis.wordpress.com

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  2. Interesting post! I was especially surprised and fascinated to hear that these crickets sometimes lay their eggs in the stems of herbaceous plants!

    Like

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