by Carl Strang
Confused ground crickets are a fairly common species in DuPage County’s forests. Examples of places I have heard them are Waterfall Glen, Warrenville Grove and Fullersburg, representing historical forests along the Des Plaines and DuPage Rivers, and Salt Creek. Before last weekend I never had seen one, but their song is distinctive. Nevertheless, one of my goals this year was to get a photograph for my singing insects guide. Last month I made my first effort at Warrenville Grove.
Scattered males were singing in locations all around the woods.
In the past I have had success with Carolina ground crickets by going to places where they were singing, and tossing bunches of leaves onto a sheet. It didn’t work this time, though. The confused ground crickets were scattered too thinly, and apparently don’t have the bunches of satellite males and females around them I find with Carolina ground crickets. Furthermore the confuseds were very sensitive to my approach, stopping their singing before I could creep close enough to pinpoint their locations.
Last weekend I tried again. This time I actually saw one, as a tiny black cricket with distinctive, snow-white palps poked its head out of the litter. I got the camera ready, or so I thought, lifted the leaf he was under, and took the photo.
You can see the cricket in the photo, but when you zoom in it’s too blurry to be of use. I’ll try again, but may not have time for another effort this year.