Bug of the Month December 2014: Snowy Tree Cricket, AKA Thermometer Cricket

Subject: What is this bug??
Location: San Angelo, Texas
November 28, 2014 11:54 pm
I live in West Texas, and this little guy was making a HORRIFICALLY loud continuous chirping sound for hours until we found him. Can you identify it for us?
Signature: Delilah

Thermometer Cricket
Thermometer Cricket

Dear Delilah,
Though you letter is not clear about the specific location, we are speculating that based on the information you provided that this Snowy Tree Cricket was found inside the home, hence the rigorous and lengthy search.  Snowy Tree Crickets are found in much of North America.  Snowy Tree Crickets are also known as Thermometer Crickets.  Charles Hogue, in his landmark book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin writes that you can tell the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit “if one counts the number of chirps in 13 seconds and adds 40.”  According to BugGuide:  “These are the crickets you hear in movies and on TV when they want to show that it’s out in nature and very quiet.”  Lowering the thermostat will slow the chirping.

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