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Fall Field Cricket

Fall Field Cricket female (lieft) and singing male (right)

Fall Field Cricket (Gryllus pennsylvanicus)

Occurrence

Common to abundant. More broadly distributed than the look-alike, sound-alike Spring Field Cricket.

Habitat

Meadows, fields, parks, older urban areas with weedy lots and concrete parking lots. They are abundant along the edge of beaches.

Range

Widespread throughout all counties in our region.

Physical description

Large, dark brown to black cricket with a large, round head. Almost an inch in length, not including the female’s ovipositor.

Song:

A cheerful “chirp-chirp-chirp” that is relatively rhythmic but not as consistent as the chirps of the Snowy Tree Cricket. The song sounds identical to that of the Spring Field Cricket. They sing in the afternoon and at night.

Fall Field Cricket afternoon and evening - Recording by Lisa Rainsong
00:00 / 00:00

Adult season

Third week of July through September. They become less common as fall progresses, but a few will be heard in October.

General description and context

Fall Field Crickets overwinter as eggs, which is why they don't begin singing until the Spring Field Crickets have finished. Although they are significantly more substantial than ground crickets, they can still be difficult to find because they hide under vegetation and in all kinds of holes, cracks, and crevices. They are very adaptable and can be heard in urban areas, where they live in parking lots and around buildings.

Similar species

The only similar species in our area at this time is the Spring Field Cricket, and they finish their season around mid-July before the Fall Field Crickets mature. Ground crickets are much smaller. The Japanese Burrowing Cricket is moving northward and will reach our area soon. We'll need to learn their songs  when they arrive, and you can hear an example on the "Songs at Ground Level" page.

Educational program observation

People who don’t realize that the female’s ovipositor is not a “stinger” can be afraid of them. Reassure them that these lovely crickets are harmless!

Listening in Nature: ground crickets and field crickets:

http://listeninginnature.blogspot.com/2014/11/crickets-in-house-ground-crickets-and.html

 

Songs of Insects:

http://songsofinsects.com/crickets/spring-and-fall-field-crickets

 

For information on the Japanese Burrowing Cricket, which is headed our way, see this Songs of Insects entry:

http://songsofinsects.com/crickets/japanese-burrowing-cricket

 

Singing Insects of North America:

http://www.entnemdept.ufl.edu/walker/buzz/489a.htm