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Spring Trig
Spring Trig male, long-winged form

Spring Trig (Anaxipha vernalis)

Occurrence

Occasional and increasing

Habitat

Meadows, fields, edge habitat.

Range

Scattered locations throughout our region

Physical description

Tiny cricket about ¼”. Coppery brown.

The only male I have been able to catch and photograph was a long-winged form. The female I photographed has typically short wings. They are virtually impossible to locate in their dense vegetation. You can see how nicely she fits on a blade of grass.

Spring Trig female

Song

A high, musical trill that is very pleasant to hear. It is often intermittent and is comprised of irregular song lengths and short pauses. Songs can range from at least 20 seconds in length to a series of shorter songs of about five seconds each. They sing in the late afternoon and at night.

The first recording shows the variable-length songs these trigs often sing, but they can also sing long, continuous songs as well. The second track combines recordings at two different temperatures and illustrates the short, preliminary songs that may come before longer songs. Keep in mind that they are the only trig you will hear in June and most of July, and the only extended, musical-sounding cricket song of any sort you'll hear at all from mid-June to about mid-July.

Srping Trig variable-length songs 88F - Recording by Lisa Rainsongt
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Spring Trig at warmer temperature, than at a cooler temperature - Recording by Lisa Rainsong
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Adult season

Mid-June through most of July. Its season length will become more apparent as the species becomes more common in our area.

General description and context

This trig seems to be a relative newcomer to our region, though it is common farther south in Ohio. It is increasing and can be found as far north as Lake Erie Bluffs on Lake Erie in NE Lake County.. They begin to sing in the late afternoon once they aren’t in direct sun and continue singing into the evening. I have also heard them sing in the early morning when the weather is warm, but they stop during the hours of sunlight.

Similar species

Say’s Trig begins to sing about the time that the Spring Trigs have just finished their season. The Say’s Trig’s song is considerably higher in pitch and is often longer in duration, though is otherwise similar to the ear. Unlike the Spring Trig, Say’s Trigs are found in wetlands and in shrubs as well as in meadows. Spring Trigs look fairly similar to Say's Trigs but are even more difficult to find.

Field observation

The first time I actually saw Spring Trigs, I caught glimpses of both typical short-winged form males and a long-winged male, whom I was able to catch and photograph. These trigs are often in tall grasses and forbs, but the vegetation at this location wasn’t so high and dense that I couldn’t catch an occasional glimpse. I had already tried for at least three years to actually see one!