Cricket Reflection

by Carl Strang

Limited field time this year has prevented my pursuing a couple of my singing insects studies. I had hoped to go around DuPage County filling in my map of areas where spring field crickets are present or absent.

I want to get some idea of the geography of two sibling species, the spring and fall field crickets. There are odd gaps in their distributions. I still hope to get some data on fall field crickets this year, but now we have entered the July overlap period for the two species, so that will have to wait.

In the meantime, I have made an observation this spring that will impact not only the cricket study but also my other geographical studies of singing insects. In retrospect it seems obvious, I should have realized it years ago, but I need to do my mapping on a very fine grain. Mapping any insect species by forest preserve or other large area is just too coarse to provide the biological meaning I seek. I need to map on the finer grain of habitat block, or even smaller. This realization came as I reflected on where I have observed spring field crickets in the past. They are not uniformly distributed, even in what appears to be suitable habitat. They occur in clusters or colonies, with significant spaces between them. As I resume this study, I will need to do my mapping with that in mind.

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