Sometimes There’s a Gift

by Carl Strang

The morning I was to leave Illinois Beach State Park, I devoted some time to a fruitless search for gray ground crickets and tinkling ground crickets, locally common species I had been hearing but had not seen, let alone photographed. Then, as I approached the tent to take it down, I saw a ground cricket on the tent door.

The head’s red color stood out.

Some red tones also were present in the pronotum, the top plate on the thorax. The female cricket held still for photos, and also for me to hold calipers near her for measurements. The small head, and the ovipositor length of 8.5mm also helped confirm the cricket’s identity. So, after a number of foiled efforts, my first sighting of a tinkling ground cricket was handed to me as a gift.

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