Currently viewing the category: "Crickets, Camel Crickets and Mole Crickets"
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Subject: bug and nest material
Location: Rochester, New York
August 7, 2012 1:50 pm
Hi. I keep getting bugs of some kind nesting between wood casement windows and the jambs…a teeny tight space. Sometimes I find clumps of dry grass, other times little dried mud tubes(maybe a different species). I’m amazed they can squeeze in there and can’t figure out what the attraction is. They aren’t damaging the wood, but messy when I open a window that’s been closed for months, and the stuff falls into the room. In today’s cleaning I found actual bugs (a brighter green than the photo shows). Thank you!
Signature: Hiawatha

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest provisioned with Tree Crickets

Dear Hiawatha,
The insects in your photo did not make this nest.  They are what appear to be Tree Crickets and they are the prey of the nest maker, a Grass Carrying Wasp in the genus
Isodontia.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are fed Grillidae (particularly tree crickets) or other Orthoptera” and “These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.”  See BugGuide for additional information on the Grass Carrying Wasp.  The mud nests you found were most likely the nests of Mud Dauber Wasps and they are generally provisioned with spiders to feed the larvae.

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest

Wow…thanks, Daniel!  That was a fast response and very comprehensive.  I really appreciate your taking the time to answer.  There’s probably nothing I can do to keep the grass carrying wasps out of the narrow track above the windows, but at least I know what I’m up against.
Again, thanks very much,
Jim Dierks
Rochester, NY

Hi again Jim,
Neither Grass Carrying Wasps nor Mud Daubers are aggressive species and you should not fear getting stung.

Good to know, Daniel.  Thanks.  I’ll just let the little guys do their thing, and with all the other troubles I’ve had with these windows, at least the wasps are just using some convenient space and not harming the windows at all.
Regards,
Jim Dierks

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Subject: strange insect in ontario
Location: southwestern ontario
July 31, 2012 10:00 pm
We have posted this picture on facebook to try to have it identified, so far people think it is either a crane fly or walkingstick, however I am unable to find an image of either that matched the picture taken
the picture was taken around 3pm just south of London Ontario. It was perched on a doorframe.
Signature: Kathrine

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Hi Kathrine,
This is a female Two Spotted Tree Cricket,
Neoxabea bipunctata.  According to BugGuide:  “Two-spotted Tree Cricket, can be found on a wide variety of vegetation including (but not restricted to): Grapevine, Sunflower, Maple Tree, White Pine Tree, Apple Tree, Post Oak Tree. They are generally high on tall plants or in trees.”

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Subject: What the…
Location: South-central Arkansas
June 2, 2012 1:11 am
As an archaeologist in the Southeastern Unites States I have the pleasure (and occasional terror) of encountering an wide and fascinating array of wildlife including some pretty fascinating insects.
(my personal favorite was stepping barefoot into a flooded excavation unit to bail water after a heavy rain only to find my unit had toe-biters in it who had somehow made it across a field to my water filled unit).
Generally speaking, because we work ”side by side” with so many types of insects and we end up digging up a lot of them, we tend to flick them away as safely as we can and go on working. This one however stopped three archaeologists with years of fieldwork experience dead in our tracks. None of us have ever seen anything like this.
It was accidentally shoveled up in some loose soil that we were back-filling a test unit with and it shot immediately head first into the dirt and started trying to dig back in. We gently lifted it back out so I could get a photo (it wasn’t easy – it was frantic to burrow back into the dirt). It looks like someone crossed a crayfish with a dobsonfly. I would love to know what this was; I think it takes my personal prize of weirdest looking bug I have seen so far.
Photo was taken in early summer in a low bayou region with a lot of wetland and agriculture fields (western edge of the Arkansas Delta).
Signature: Dr. Horton

Mole Cricket

Dear Dr. Horton,
We love your letter.  This is a Mole Cricket, and like archeologists, Mole Crickets spend a great deal of time digging and their front legs are perfectly adapted for moving through soil.  Many species can also fly quite well and they are attracted to lights.  We get identification requests from all over the world for Mole Crickets and requests from armed forces in the Middle East are especially common.  Now, on to that Toe-Biter anecdote, we just have to ask:  Were you bitten?  If so, you would be the first person to come forward and substantiate that there is credibility in the common name for Giant Water Bugs.

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Cricket from India
Location: Agumbe, Karnataka, India
April 10, 2012 7:26 pm
This photo of an unidentified cricket was taken in January by a trip mate on a recent adventure in India. The antennas must have been near a foot long! She was on a fence post with her ovipositor out, so we tried not to disturb her too much. Any ID would be greatly appreciated!
Signature: Brian

Raspy Cricket

Dear Brian,
We are not certain if this Longhorned Orthopteran is a Katydid or a Raspy Cricket, which is what we are leaning towards.  We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to get his input.

Hi Daniel,
You are correct, this is a raspy cricket. The easiest way to tell them apart is to look at the front tibia: a katydid will have tympanum (or a least a tympanal slit) below the knee, raspy crickets don’t have them. Unfortunately, I will not be able to tell you more about this Indian species other than that it is possibly (with a big question mark) a member of the genus Pardogryllacris.
Piotr

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Tsingy Bemaraha Katydid
Location: Western Madagascar
April 10, 2012 6:45 am
Hi there
I recently found this on the Bemaraha plateau at the village of Bevero in Madagascar. Have you any idea if it has been seen before? A designation down to species would be appreciated if possible. What possible advantage could there be in this shocking green and pink combination? Your thoughts please, Thank you. Len
Signature: Len deBeer

Raspy Cricket from Madagascar

Hi Len,
We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can identify this species which is possibly an immature specimen since it is lacking wings.  We don’t have a theory on the advantage of the coloration of this Katydid.

Piotr Naskrecki Responds
Hi Daniel,
This is not a katydid but a nymph of a gryllacridid, also known as a leaf-rolling or raspy cricket. But it would be difficult to ID the genus at this stage as this is a very young nymph.
Cheers,
Piotr

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Is this a mole cricket??
Location: Rockingham, Western Australia
March 10, 2012 6:52 am
Not sure how this got into a box in the corner of a room in my house so far from either outside doors..It was not making the usual clicking noises and i heard it scrapping in the cardboard box…
I have never seen this bug before.
Signature: Rockingham, Western Australia

Mole Cricket

Dear Rockingham,
You are correct.  This is a Mole Cricket.

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