Two Missing Woodland Species

by Carl Strang

Two of the singing insect species that I have not found in northeast Illinois or northwest Indiana, but which have been collected here, are the spotted ground cricket and woodland meadow katydid. Both are described as woodland or woodland edge insects.

Looking back at Hebard’s 1934 monograph, which reviewed the Orthoptera of Illinois, I see that his only spotted ground cricket location in northeast Illinois was Deep Lake, in the northern Lake/McHenry County area. Other Illinois records for this species, all 1935 or older, are in Cook and Will counties. Indiana records include an old one from LaPorte County, as well as one from McCafferty and Stein (1976) for Kosciusko. These records are marked on the map for the spotted ground cricket from the Singing Insects of North America (SINA) website:

Turning to the woodland meadow katydid, Hebard wrote that he found it throughout Illinois in woods undergrowth and openings, and open woodlands, but the only location he gave in northeast Illinois was Willow Springs. Another source in the SINA database had them at Joliet in Will County in 1935. Here is the SINA map.

Indiana records from McCafferty and Stein include Starke County, but otherwise are limited to central and southern counties (they say it “is somewhat uncommon in the northern part. It inhabits roadside vegetation, fence row and marginal wooded areas”).

Both of these species apparently are very locally distributed, at best, in the region. While I will keep them in the back of my mind as I explore our area, and retain them on the hypothetical list as species that may still be present, there seems no justification in actively seeking them.

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