Tree Cricket Nymphs

by Carl Strang

While sweeping for meadow katydid nymphs last week I also picked up a few immature tree crickets. I took the time to photograph some of them.

This example, just a few millimeters long, has no wing pads yet.

After consulting Nancy Collins’ excellent tree cricket site, I think this one is in its third instar, 3 molts short of adulthood. Other information on her site suggests, from the pattern of fine white dashes on the abdomen and lack of a striping pattern, that this might be a black-horned tree cricket, which is common at Mayslake Forest Preserve. It took some maneuvering to get a reasonably clear photo of the spots on the first two antenna segments.

Eventually, a Kilroy-was-here shot achieved the goal.

These spots are valuable in identifying adult tree crickets, but I don’t know whether they are useful in nymphs. This pattern certainly fits the black-horned/Forbes’s tree cricket species pair (cf. diagram at the Singing Insects of North America website).


  1. July 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Thank you so much for posting this! A similar creature landed on my knee yesterday while I was sitting under the trees, now I know it was some kind of tree cricket!

  2. July 21, 2012 at 5:25 am

    thank you. most enlightening. i checked out the tree cricket site, as well.

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