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Say's Trig

Say’s Trig (Anaxipha exigua)

Occurrence

Common, and can be abundant in wetlands.

Habitat

Wetlands and wetland edges, shrubs, and meadows. Occasionally on lower vegetation (such as poison ivy) at woodland edges. In wetland areas, they are quite fond of buttonbushes. They can  also be found on boardwalks in wetlands and marshy areas.

Range

All counties in our region.

Physical description

A tiny, coppery-colored cricket that's only about ¼” in size. Note in the photo above his size relationship to an ant.

 

Their colors can include tans to darker brown and reddish brown, and males appear to have a copper sheen to their wings. These crickets also have dark lines on their head that sometimes resemble an M.

Say's Trig females
Say's Trig nymph

Song

A high, shimmering trill that may be continuous or in long phrases with short pauses. The pitch sounds an octave higher than the tree crickets that may be singing nearby. The song occasionally begins with a short slide up to the primary pitch from just a bit below it. They sing in the afternoon and at night. Keep in mind that they will sing higher when it's very warm, and the temperature drops after dark. The track below combines an afternoon recording and an evening recording.

Say's Trig songs warmer in afternoon and cooler in evening - Recorded by Lisa Rainsong
00:00 / 00:00

Adult season

End of July until frost, but becoming less common later in the season.

General description and context

Say’s Trigs can be found a multiple habitats, and wetland edges are an excellent place to find significant numbers of them. They may also be found along woodland edge paths, including on poison ivy leaves. Although they are almost impossible to find in meadows, you are likely to hear them singing along with the meadow-dwelling tree crickets. They may also be found in sedges.

Similar species

The Spring Trig sings a similar song in grassy meadows from mid-June through the first few weeks of July. They do not appear to overlap. This species looks very similar to the Say’s Trig but is not found in wetland areas or shrubs. Its song consists of shorter phrases and is a little lower in pitch.

Field observation

If you are walking on a boardwalk in a wet area or a deck or raised walkway where wetland shrubs and other vegetation reaches the water, watch for Say’s Trigs as you approach. They are likely to be in front of your feet or on the railings, and are likely to be in the leaves of the surrounding shrubs. Don’t forget to check the buttonbushes, too!