Tree Cricket: All You Need to Know – Quick and Friendly Guide

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You might have heard of crickets, but did you know about the fascinating world of tree crickets? Belonging to the subfamily Oecanthinae, tree crickets are delicate, lime-green insects known for their enchanting melodies. They are part of the order Orthoptera, which includes crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids. Often found in trees and on flowers, tree crickets are an intriguing species with unique features like their antennae that are many times longer than their body.

When it comes to tree crickets, the most well-known genus is Oecanthus. These fascinating creatures are masters of camouflage, blending seamlessly into their surroundings. If you’re lucky enough to spot one, you’ll notice their slender body and incredibly long, hair-like antennae which make them easily distinguishable from other cricket species.

So, the next time you’re in the great outdoors, keep an ear out for the enchanting songs of tree crickets and appreciate the beauty of these delicate creatures. Not only do they add charm to the natural world around us, but they also have an important role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem as both prey and predators in their habitat.

Understanding the Cricket Anatomy

Physical Traits

Tree crickets are fascinating creatures and have several unique features that contribute to their behavior and lifestyle. They have a slim, delicate, and lime-green body, which makes them tough to spot when they’re hanging out in trees or plants.

Compound Eyes

One intriguing feature is their compound eyes. When you look at a tree cricket, you’ll notice that their eyes are quite large compared to their body. These eyes allow them to see a wide range of colors, and they can even see UV light, which helps them locate flowers and detect mates.

The Chirping Wings

An essential part of the tree cricket anatomy is their wings. Tree crickets use their wings to produce their renowned chirping sound, which they use to attract mates. They have a specialized structure on their forewings called the stridulatory organ, which they rub together to create the sound.

Here is a comparison of the main physical features of tree crickets:

Feature Description
Wings Used to produce the chirping sound for mating and some limited flight.
Compound Eyes Large, complex eyes that detect a wide range of colors and UV light.
Rear Legs Powerful, long legs aiding in swift movement and jumping ability.
Forewings Possess the stridulatory organ to produce the chirping sound.

Despite their delicate appearance, tree crickets also have teeth, but these are primarily for chewing plant material and not for self-defense. So, when you encounter a tree cricket, you can be amazed by their unique features and know what’s behind their intriguing behavior.

Sound and Communication in Tree Crickets

Chirping and Its Temperature Dependence

In tree crickets, their song or chirp is an essential part of their communication. The sound they produce has a high pitch since they usually live higher up in trees and herbaceous plants. The temperature plays a crucial role in their chirping. You might notice that their chirp rate increases as the temperature gets warmer. This is because their metabolism increases with temperature, affecting their muscle movements and resulting in faster chirps.

For example, a tree cricket on a warm summer evening might chirp at a faster rate than one on a cool autumn night. This phenomenon is known as the temperature dependence of their chirping pattern.

Courtship Songs

When it comes to courtship, male tree crickets produce calling songs to attract females. These songs are essential for their mating behavior as they help females locate potential partners. If a female recognizes the conspecific song and finds it attractive, she will move towards the male for further courtship.

During courtship, the male tree cricket might also engage in courtship feeding by providing a meal for the female, which could be a nuptial gift or a secretion from the male’s own body. This feeding is essential, as it helps to show the male’s fitness and increases the chances of successful mating.

Here are some features of tree cricket songs:

  • High-pitched and continuous sound
  • Produced by rubbing their wings
  • Used for attracting females and initiating courtship

In addition to their song production, tree crickets also have a tympanum, an essential part of their hearing, which allows them to listen and respond to the songs of other tree crickets. This organ helps them in differentiating between mating calls, leading to successful communication and ultimately successful reproduction.

Keep in mind that noise from anthropogenic sources like traffic can also affect their communication, disrupting their calls and hindering their reproduction success.

A Look into the Cricket Life Cycle

Metamorphosis into Adulthood

Tree crickets undergo a process called metamorphosis to transform from their immature stage into adulthood. This fascinating process involves several growth stages.

At the beginning, tree crickets hatch from eggs as nymphs. These nymphs don’t have wings and look like small versions of adult crickets. They eat, grow, and shed their skin as they develop. As the nymphs grow, they pass through multiple stages called instars. Each instar marks a key step towards adulthood.

During the process of metamorphosis, tree crickets experience many changes:

  • Development of wings
  • Enlargement of body parts
  • Increased overall size

Tree crickets usually go through 5-6 instars before finally reaching their adult form. At each instar, the tree cricket becomes progressively more like an adult. When they reach full maturity, tree crickets have functional wings and are ready to find mates.

It’s important to know that the environment plays a significant role in the metamorphosis process. Factors like temperature and food availability can impact the duration and success of this transformation.

To summarize, the life cycle of tree crickets involves a remarkable transformation called metamorphosis. Starting as wingless nymphs, they mature through several stages before becoming fully grown adults, complete with wings for flying and the readiness to find a mate.

Dietary Habits of Tree Crickets

Omnivorous Diet

Tree crickets are fascinating insects with an omnivorous diet, meaning they consume both plant and animal materials. Within this diet are a diverse range of food items, including:

  • Plants: Tree crickets consume the leaves, flowers, and fruits of various plants.
  • Insects: They feed on a variety of bugs, including aphids, scale insects, and moth eggs.

One interesting aspect of their diet is their adaptability. They can adjust their food preferences in response to seasonal changes and availability.

Role in Pest Control

Tree crickets are not only interesting creatures but also serve a crucial role in pest control. As natural enemies of some common garden pests, they can help maintain a balanced ecosystem within your garden and orchard. For example:

  • They prey on aphids that can cause plant damage by sucking out sap.
  • They feast on scale insects that can cause plant decline and even death.

In addition to the examples above, tree crickets have been observed by researchers at Michigan State University consuming eggs of an apple pest, the codling moth. This makes them a beneficial insect for both backyard gardens and agricultural settings.

Overall, you can appreciate the role tree crickets play in maintaining a healthy environment by consuming a variety of pests in their habitats. Their omnivorous diet helps contribute to not only the well-being of the ecosystem, but also potentially to the vitality of your garden and the plants within it.

Habitats of Tree Crickets

Native Regions

Tree crickets are found in various regions across the globe, including countries like England, South Africa, and Australia. Each region has its unique habitat for these fascinating insects.

  • England: Predominantly in grasslands and hedgerows.
  • South Africa: In forests and savannas.
  • Australia: Mostly in eucalyptus woodlands.

Cricket Habitats in Leaves

Tree crickets live on plants and prefer staying in trees, bushes, and tall herbaceous plants at least a foot above the ground. Their size, color, and delicate features allow them to blend in with their environment. When hanging out on leaves, they often choose locations close to water sources and in areas with moderate temperatures.

Considering their habitat preferences, it’s essential to preserve their natural living environment. You can do your part by maintaining the greenery in your surroundings and creating favorable conditions for their survival.

Species and Genera of Tree Crickets

Snowy Tree Cricket

The Snowy Tree Cricket is a fascinating species often heard in the night chorus during Michigan summers. Their song is so unique that it’s said to resemble the sound of moonlight if it could be heard. These crickets eat aphids, scale insects, and other soft-bodied pests, which makes them helpful in gardens. They’re usually found in trees, bushes, and tall herbaceous plants at least a foot above the ground.

Field Cricket

Field crickets, on the other hand, are more commonly found on the ground. They belong to the same family – Gryllidae – as Tree Crickets and can be difficult to identify due to their similar black, brown, or tan coloration. However, these crickets are larger and more robust in comparison.

Comparison with Other Insects

Tree crickets, field crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids are all part of the order Orthoptera, but have distinct characteristics and behaviors. Let’s compare them:

Feature Tree Cricket Field Cricket Grasshopper Katydid
Habitat Trees, bushes, and tall plants Ground Grasslands and meadows Trees and vegetation
Body Size Slim, delicate Larger, robust Medium to large Large
Color Lime-green Black, brown or tan Green or brown Green or brown, leaf-like
Activity Nocturnal Nocturnal Diurnal Nocturnal
Diet Aphids, scale insects, soft-bodied pests Omnivorous Herbivorous Herbivorous, some species omnivorous

This table should help you understand the differences between these insects. Tree crickets and field crickets belong to the same family, Gryllidae, while grasshoppers and katydids come from different families within Orthoptera. Each insect uniquely contributes to the balance and harmony of their ecosystems.

Cricket-Friendly Environment

Cricket in the Backyard

Creating a cricket-friendly environment in your backyard can be a fun and rewarding experience. To attract tree crickets, start by providing them with a suitable habitat. As their name suggests, tree crickets like to hang out in trees, especially in the lime-green flowers where they can be tough to spot. To invite these fascinating creatures into your backyard, consider planting these types of flowers, and provide them with some shaded areas for resting during the day.

You’ll also want to make your backyard a safe space for tree crickets to thrive. This means keeping it free from harmful pesticides and providing them with a source of water to stay hydrated. To do this, you can:

  • Create a small natural pond or water basin where crickets can drink
  • Avoid using chemicals that can harm them

Keep in mind that tree crickets are usually active at night, so don’t be surprised if you see them moving around and feeding during the evening.

Finally, make sure to maintain your backyard by keeping it clean and clear of any debris that could potentially harm tree crickets. Regularly prune your trees and flowers, while ensuring to preserve a welcoming area for tree crickets to congregate.

By following these simple steps, you’ll create a cricket-friendly environment in your backyard, providing you with an opportunity to observe and enjoy these unique insects up close!

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Tree Cricket Bites Man in Washington


Subject:  Long legged but head wrong for grasshopper
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Washington State
Date: 10/26/2019
Time: 07:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Bit me on stomach inside house September 2019. Long legs imply grasshopper/katydid.  Head does not look right for either.  Search through several grasshopper/insect sites resulted in nothing similar.
How you want your letter signed:  Philip

Tree Cricket

Dear Philip,
This is a Tree Cricket, and Tree Crickets belong to the Insect order Orthoptera which includes Grasshoppers and Katydids, hence the resemblance.  Many Orthopterans have strong mandibles and they might bite if carelessly handled or if they feel threatened, but they are not venomous and the bite is considered harmless.  Some larger Orthopterans including some large Katydids might draw blood if they bite, but we doubt that will happen with a Tree Cricket.

Letter 2 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Third try for pink/red grasshopper
September 23, 2009
We found this grasshopper inside our WV house in late October– I haven’t found it on your site, or elsewhere, and I think it’s very pretty! Can you help?
Morgantown, WV

Smooth Legged Tree Cricket
Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Hi Jessica,
Thanks for your persistence.  We wish we had the time to answer all of our mail, especially since we realize how very important it is to our readership to have their letter recognized and perhaps even posted online.  This appears to be a Smooth Legged Tree Cricket in the genus Neoxabea, the Two Spotted Tree Cricket, Neoxabea bipunctata.  According to BugGuide, your specimen is a male which is described as:  “The male is a paler color — red tinged head and pronotum, pale pink-tinged wings and pale flesh-toned limbs.  The male Neoxabea is the only TC male whose wings wrap down the sides of the body (like those of the female) — Oecanthus species males have paddle-shaped wings that lay atop their body.
”  BugGuide also indicates:  “Males sing mostly at night: a 10-second trill followed by several seconds of silence, then a trill again. After mating, male hangs downward from foliage, allowing female to hang on beneath and dine on secretions from his thorax (1).

Smooth Legged Tree Cricket
Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Thank you so much!  I’m glad my persistence paid off and didn’t come off as pestering.

We appreciate that you actually sent your information as well as attaching the photos on your subsequent submissions.  Often people will just send a followup query with no photos and we cannot take the time to search the mailbox for their original letters.

Letter 3 – Tree Cricket


Can’t find it. Noisy!
Location: Boise, Idaho
September 16, 2011 12:58 am
I caught this bug in my kitchen, in the dark. It is approximately 3/4 inch long. If it is the culprit, it sounds like a cricket, but much louder and consistently sounding long. Kinda like a cicada but entirely more annoying.
What is it, and should I set it free in my neighbor’s bedroom window?
Signature: david

Tree Cricket

Hi David,
This is a Tree Cricket.  We are puzzled, because if you find its chirping so annoying, we cannot imagine why you would want to release in in your neighbor’s bedroom window.  We feel a much better habitat would be some foliage in the garden.

Thanks! Only annoying because it was keeping me up at night chirping in my kitchen. Loudest cricket I’ve heard. 🙂 I let him go in the flower garden next to some nice boulders.

Letter 4 – Tree Cricket


My little songster
Location: Northern CA
October 22, 2011 3:26 pm
This little guy/gal appears every night on my geranium plant–October–N, CA. Sometimes there are more than one.
Signature: MF

Tree Cricket

Dear MF,
This is some species of Tree Cricket in the genus
Oecanthus, and as a group, they are quite vocal.  One species, the Snowy Tree Cricket, it also called the Thermometer Cricket because one can calculate the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit by counting the chirps in 13 seconds and then adding 40 according to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin.  See BugGuide for more information on Tree Crickets.

Letter 5 – Tree Cricket


Subject: Is this a Katy-Did type bug?
Location: Montreal Canada
August 25, 2013 7:17 am
Hi, i’m from Montreal, Qc, Canada and i found this bug last night in bathroom and took picture.
I released it afterwards so I hope it’s a beneficial insect…and not a pest. Please give me good news?
Thank you very much! Melina, Montreal.
Signature: Melina

Tree Cricket
Tree Cricket

Hi Melina,
This is a Tree Cricket in the genus
Oecanthus, and like Katydids, they are classified in the suborder Ensifera with other longhorned Orthopterans.  Though they feed on leaves, we consider Tree Crickets to be benign as they do not get plentiful enough to defoliate trees and shrubs.  They are also insect musicians, so if you enjoy the sounds of the night, they are beneficial.

Letter 6 – Tree Cricket


Subject: Odd Hopper
Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
October 16, 2013 4:30 pm
Found this interesting guy on crops at a local farm. It had wings and could jump a bit. I think the crop was potatoe. It was found sometime in September.
Signature: Yanimae

Tree Cricket
Tree Cricket

Hi Yanimae,
This is one of the “singing” Tree Crickets that you might hear calling late in the season.

Letter 7 – Unnecessary Carnage of a Tree Cricket


Subject:  Long yellow legged insect
Geographic location of the bug:  New York
Date: 08/11/2021
Time: 10:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman, at 10:30pm saw this bug flying across my living room on 8/11/21. Did not want to harm it but had to call in the hubby  to settle the matter. What is this long yellow legged creature?
How you want your letter signed:  Michelin

Unnecessary Carnage of a Tree Cricket

Dear Michelin,
We find the image you submitted illustrating the Unnecessary Carnage of  a harmless Tree Cricket to be oddly beautiful, but living Tree Crickets are even more beautiful.

Oh no!
Thank you Dan for letting us know that this was indeed a good creature, next time we ever encounter another one we will make sure to let it flourish on our magnolia tree.

We are happy to hear that Michelin.  Tree Crickets are quite musical.

Letter 8 – Tree Cricket is whacked for serenading mate


Bug that makes a cricket soun
Location: San Francisco, CA
September 28, 2011 11:00 pm
Evidently this critter kept my wife up most of the night last night with a cricket like sound, until she tracked it down and whacked it. The body’s about 5/8” long. It kind of looks like a caddis fly, which I know from flyfishing. but I’ve never seen this exact bug before- it doesn’t fit into any of the categories of typical house pests. She said the sound was pretty loud. We’ve had a lot of very warm weather here lately, which is unusual.Any ideas?
Signature: Clifton Lemon

Tree Cricket

Hi Clifton,
In our opinion, whacking a harmless Tree Cricket for calling out to attract a mate constitutes Unnecessary Carnage.

Tree cricket huh? Wow. Agreed about the unnecesssariness of the whacking. Thanks! I was stumped.

We believe it may be a Snowy Tree Cricket, Oecanthus fultoni.  The Snowy Tree Cricket is also called a Thermometer Cricket because, according to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, 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.”
P.S.  Perhaps it was a hot evening and your wife was having a bad night.

Cool, thanks so much for your excellent work. I am edified,

Letter 9 – Tree Cricket lays Eggs


Subject: Nighttime bug
Location: Southern California
August 8, 2015 11:28 pm
This bug seems to be laying eggs on Hummingbird Sage at 10pm, Costa Mesa(southern Cali) on August 8th. I had to use flash, sorry. The bug is lime green all over.
Signature: Terry Davitt

Tree Cricket Ovipositing
Tree Cricket Ovipositing

Dear Terry,
This appears to be a Tree Cricket in the subfamily Oecanthinae.

Letter 10 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Good morning…
These images were sent to me by my mom. She lives in southeast Michigan. This insect was hanging on her back screen door. We are abslutely baffled. Hope you can help! Thanks so much
Ryan Myers

Hi Ryan,
We quickly located your Two Spotted Tree Cricket, Neoxabea bipunctata, on BugGuide.

Letter 11 – Two-Spotted Tree Cricket


Red-headed insect
August 11, 2009
I found this creature on my screen door this morning. It did not move all day. I could not make out wings, but they could be held flat to the body. I was thinking some kind of grasshopper relative? The striking red head was very distinctive. We live in central ohio and it is mid-August. Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you, Jennifer N.
Central Ohio

Two Spotted Tree Cricket
Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Hi Jennifer,
We are confident that we have identified your Tree Cricket as a Two-Spotted Tree Cricket, Neoxabea bipunctata, based on images posted to BugGuide.  Additionally, we believe this is a female based on the description:
Reddish-brown head and foreparts, usually fading to pale yellowish toward rear. Female has two elongated blackish spots on tegmen (forewings). Hind tibiae do not have spines. Basal segment of antennae has a blunt tooth on the outer side.

Letter 12 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Is this bug friend or foe?
6:08 AM
October 30, 2009
I foud this on my house and did not want to kill a beneficial insect. It is approx 2 inches long.
M Brienza
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

please disregard previous message
6:19 AM
a form has been submitted on October 30, 2009
Hello Bugman,
In my haste to identify the insect i just submitted, I dug a lit deeper into your site (which is excellent by the way) and found that I have a two-spotted tree cricket.
Don’t want to waste your valuable time!
Thanks & keep up the good work!
M Brienza
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Two Spotted Tree Cricket
Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Dear M,
WE are quite impressed that you managed to identify your Two Spotted Tree Cricket, Neoxabea bipunctata,
in 11 minutes and write back to inform us.  We love Tree Crickets and enjoy hearing their musical serenades at night.  Readers who want more information may find it on BugGuide.

Letter 13 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Curious what this odd-looking insect is.
Location:  Elk River, MN
August 9, 2010 12:26 am
I was at a family gathering in Elk River, Minnesota on August 8th when I spotted this bug reared up on its hind legs atop the leaf of a bush in my father-in-law’s front yard. When I took my camera out to snap a photo, it quickly retreated underneath the leaf, and it jumped away when I tried to get it to climb on my finger.
I was wondering if you could take a gander at the picture and help me identify exactly what it is i took a picture of. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You
J Bistodeau

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Hi J,
This is a Tree Cricket, most likely a Two Spotted Tree Cricket,
Neoxabea bipunctata.  The markings on the dorsal surface help to identify this species, and they are barely visible in your profile view.  You can read more about the species on BugGuide.

My utmost thanks for your reply! I used the link, and looked up two spotted tree crickets. You are indeed correct in your identification! Thank you so much! Sorry the markings weren’t too clear on that picture – I took several pictures of it, and that was the only one that came out clear (all the other ones, the leaves were in focus but the bug was not). I am glad you were able to clear up my mystery for me! I am forever grateful!
Thank you,
Jason Bistodeau

Letter 14 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Unknown Insect
Location:  Locust, NJ 07760
October 4, 2010 1:14 pm
There were about a dozen of these insects on the ceiling near a porch light in August. Not sure what it is can you ID it for me.
Signature:  not sure what youwant here?

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Dear not sure,
This is a Two Spotted Tree Cricket,
Neoxabea bipunctata, and it is nice to know they are attracted to porch lights in such numbers.

Letter 15 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Praying Mantis Cousin?
Location: Port Republic, MD
October 11, 2011 6:30 pm
What a great site! You provide an invaluable service to the web community.
Need help identifying a bug. Not sure how to classify this insect; couldn’t find a resemblance on your site.
Thanks again!
Signature: Jimi

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Hi Jimi,
Thanks for the compliment.  Your insect is a Two Spotted Tree Cricket.

Letter 16 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


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.”

Letter 17 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Subject: Dinosaur with bug legs?
Location: Zip 01257 Sheffield, Massachusetts
September 2, 2013 6:31 am
Hello, I was wondering if you might be able to help us identify this little fella! He was lounging on a leaf of my potted lime tree on our front porch. We live in Massachusetts (right in the corner of NY and CT so not on the ocean side). It was taken in the afternoon on September 1 (yesterday).
When my daughter touched it, it moved but did not fly away…and we didn’t notice any sort of wings either. It was maybe an inch or more long, and did not appear to be munching on my tree. It also made no sound that we heard. My daughters are fascinated by insect life and we have searched online to no avail trying to identify it! We also posted it on Facebook but nobody else can identify it there either. We thought it looked a little bit like a miniature dinosaur with insect legs 😉 We’d be ever so grateful if you might be able to help us out! I do have other pictures, too but tried to choose the best three 🙂 Thank you in advance for your time!
Signature: The Martin family

Two Spotted Tree Cricket
Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Dear Martin family,
This appears to be a female Two Spotted Tree Cricket,
Neoxabea bipunctata, however, the pattern of the spotting is not a apparent as it is in the typical specimen.  Your likening this to a dinosaur with insect legs is terribly amusing to us, but it is actually somewhat accurate.  See BugGuide for additional information on the Two Spotted Tree Cricket.

Two Spotted Tree Cricket
Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Thank you so very much!! My girls are very excited to learn about this new insect! We VERY much appreciate your time! They are quite happy they didn’t feed the cricket to the giant black and yellow orb weaver they found the day before! 😉

Letter 18 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Subject: Beautiful unknown bug
Location: Northeast ohio berea
August 25, 2016 1:42 pm
Dear bugman,
Today i found this very beautiful bug but i have no idea what it is. It had a pink head that faded into its body. I had a dark purpleish double diamond on its back. Across its body it had a scale like pattern. The legs were yellow and kind of clear. It had two very long feelers. It had short things the curled inward where the mouth would be. It flew away with two sets of wings that were white and they were the shape of a our fingertips. Lastly o noticed it had a long black stinger like hing on its underside. Anyway i am a very nature loveing person and i have never seen anything quite like this before so if you have any idea of what this is i would truly love to know. Its driving me crazy! Thank you for any and all help mr. Bugman. I really appreciate it.
Signature: Sam ferrell

Two Spotted Tree Cricket
Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Dear Sam,
When the word “beautiful” is in the subject line, we can’t help but to open the request long before we open inquiries with subject lines that indicate people want extermination advice.  This beauty is a female Two Spotted Tree Cricket,
Neoxabea bipunctata.  Both the markings and the presence of an ovipositor, which you mistook for a stinger, identify your individual as a female of this sexually dimorphic species.  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” and “Males sing mostly at night: a 10-second trill followed by several seconds of silence, then a trill again. After mating, male hangs downward from foliage, allowing female to hang on beneath and dine on secretions from his thorax .”

Letter 19 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Subject: Pennsylvania mystery insect
Location: Newtown Square, PA
July 21, 2017 8:50 am
Hello Daniel,
Thank you for your hard work on this superb site. I raise and breed preying mantids. I found two of these insects on my deck table on 07-19-17 in the full sun. One was dead (natural causes), the other nearly expired. As far as I could tell they were identical. Try as I may with my research references, I cannot ID these guys. I’m very curious. Hope you can solve the mystery.
Signature: John Miller

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Subject: Pennsylvania mystery solved
July 21, 2017 9:09 am
I just wrote you a note with accompanying hi-def image of a “mystery” bug (actually two of them), discovered yesterday.  A mystery no more.  They are:
Female and male Neoxabea bipunctata.   It’s always great fun to unravel a mystery.
Signature: John Miller

Hi John,
You are correct that this is
Neoxabea bipunctata, a female Two Spotted Tree Cricket.  Your beautiful image is a wonderful addition to our archive.

Letter 20 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Subject: Weevil-like head, mantid body
Location: Johnsville, KY
August 22, 2017 5:02 pm
I can’t seem to find this beastie online or in my tiny book. I’m in northern Kentucky, bracken county, which is mostly wooded limestone hills and hollers. I found it in the inside of a barn door at dusk. Temp approx. 76 F. It never moved but eventually fell off the door. I’m not good at estimating but id say it was about two inches long.
Signature: To Mr. Adams’ Science Classes

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Dear Mr. Adams’ Science Classes,
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.” 

Letter 21 – Two Spotted Tree Cricket


Subject: What is this bug
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
August 24, 2017 9:22 am
We found this bug yesterday it was feeding on sulfates.
Signature: Bill Richer

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Dear Bill,
This is a female Two Spotted Tree Cricket.  Your image has beautiful detail.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • i too live in Ohio, near Dayton. just last night, i found a male two-spotted tree cricket on my kitchen blinds. i searched the internet in hopes to identify it, and found my answer here. my cricket had the same body, but was different in color – light all over with red eyes! i don’t see where I can upload a pic to show you, but thanks for the help!


  • this may work as a link to the photo of my cricket:

  • I am so glad to see this post! I had sent an e-mail & photo a couple weeks ago asking for help in identifying this insect that I’d never seen before, and now I don’t have to keep wondering what it is!! Thank you!!!

    • Please resend your image with a subject line including the insect name and we will try to post your image.

  • I’ve been seeing these things green mostly and today October end of our summer beginning of fall there was one on our back step side note there are a ton of very large trees in behind our house in our neighbor’s yards and these things like cicadas and katydids fall from the sky & into our yard 😅 but this is the first year ever seeing these tree crickets I thought it was regular crickets singing all the live long nights keeping us awake and nodding allowing us to open our windows at night frustrating to say the least I had to find them and kill a few because they were right at our bedroom window every night😅 and I know it was our first summer having them because I’ve never even heard regular crickets this annoying we definitely would have noticed previous Summers plus I’m the bug lady/Gardner every summer when I plant my veggie gardens I find new species of bugs I actually raised a hatched OOTHECA of praying mantises in my backyard it’s actually a really funny story if you ever want to hear it and I have a lot of videos and pictures to show the process of their growth right up until one got its wings I called him dude because he hung around the longest literally his entire upbringing until he got wings and flew away 💔 this was my first year not having a massive Scarlet runner bean plant for them to hide in mate in💔 in my neighbor backyard had a bunch of tall grass (our backyards are divided by a fence and our gardens are almost touching so I knew they would look for their own space praying mantises don’t like to share as they get older I also have footage of all the molting the Mantis did right up to adulthood😁 so yes I find bugs interesting to say the least. So on my walk with my dog the other day I actually spotted one of my praying mantises in my backyard neighbors front yard he jumped right in front of me and even let me pick him up until he jumped and flew off that’s how I knew he was mine because no wild praying mantis would ever let you pick it up so easily as this one did I literally just put my hand out and he climbed right up like he hadn’t been gone for long I wish they live longer because I would have bought myself one after this Summer’s experience with the entire Utica as far as I know eight out of the 400 roughly lived because I asked my neighbors often if they see praying mantises and three out of four of them do we all have large gardens and again this year I just didn’t have anything tall or bushy enough for the praying mantises to want to stay they didn’t have enough space for them all to stay either it is mating season and I’m really hoping that my dog finds another stick in my yard with an Utica attached that was the beginning of my story of how I came to raise the nymphs in my backyard if you’d like to hear more please reach out 😁


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