Singing Insect Season Opens

by Carl Strang

Singing insects are my top research interest, so it’s always a special day when I hear the first display of the year. Our earliest singing insect is the greenstriped grasshopper.

This is a male. Females are green. The sound is crepitation, a rattling of the wings in a display flight.

This year’s first display was on May 6. That’s relatively late, the next-to-latest starting date in my 6 years of observations. Already, though, many individuals are singing in some locations. Greenstriped grasshoppers are common in grassy areas from meadows and prairies to grassy woodlands. Next up will be the spring field cricket.

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