Kendall County Singing Insects
August 5, 2013 at 6:26 am (singing insects)
Tags: broad-winged bush katydid, dog day cicada, gladiator meadow katydid, Harris Forest Preserve, Hoover Forest Preserve, Kendall County, lyric cicada, Nebraska conehead, Neoconocephalus nebrascensis, Orchelimum gladiator, Richard Young Forest Preserve, Scudderia pistillata, Silver Springs Fish and Wildlife Area, Tibicen canicularis, Tibicen lyricen
by Carl Strang
On Friday I took a vacation day to begin surveying singing insects in Kendall County, Illinois, just southeast of my home county of DuPage. It was a good, productive day, yielding a total species count of 19. There are some high quality wet to mesic forests and restored prairies in the four sites I visited.
The best quality forest was in Richard Young Forest Preserve. There were few invasive plants in this sugar maple forest, which was cut by a nice stream or two and had a beautiful little kame named “Hepatica Hill.”
Harris and Hoover Forest Preserves show promise for future visits, though I did not pick up many species there on this trip. The most extensive area was Silver Springs Fish and Wildlife Area (formerly Silver Springs State Park).
Silver Springs has good bottomland forest along the Fox River, and a wide range of open lands. This meadow had many prairie grasses mixed in.
This restored prairie was one of my favorite locations, yielding several singing insect species.
I did not find much in the way of marshland, and no dry oak woodlands or savannas. I will need to see if Kendall County has good examples of such habitats. As for singing insects, highlights included good numbers of broad-winged bush katydids and a couple dog day cicadas, two of the species I am following for southern range boundaries. The dominant singer was the lyric cicada, with loud choruses providing a continuous background through the day.
This gladiator meadow katydid gave me a photo opportunity. Though the reflections from the flash reduce the quality of this as an image, they do a nice job of highlighting the relatively straight rear boundary of the pronotum, helpful in distinguishing this species from the common meadow katydid.
The one species that I heard for the first time this year was the Nebraska conehead.
Many Nebraska coneheads were singing along River Road in the north part of Silver Springs and in residential properties adjacent to it. This one agreeably posed.
I hope to get back to Kendall County at least one more time this year.