Encounters Along the Way
September 23, 2013 at 6:04 am (singing insects)
Tags: Allonemobius tinnulus, Amblycorypha oblongifolia, Bong Recreation Area, common meadow katydid, common true katydid, confused ground cricket, Eunemobius confusus, Eunemobius melodius, four-spotted tree cricket, Fulton County, handsome trig, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana Dunes State Park, melodious ground cricket, oblong-winged katydid, Oecanthus quadripunctatus, Orchelimum vulgare, Phyllopalpus pulchellus, Pterophylla camellifolia, Scudderia texensis, Texas bush katydid, tinkling ground cricket, Waterfall Glen
by Carl Strang
As another season of field research into the region’s singing insects winds down, I am starting to look back at the highlights. Some of these were chance encounters that provided new photo opportunities. For example, there was a weakened common true katydid I found on a trail at Waterfall Glen in broad daylight. I didn’t have a good photo of the species, and posed him after removing him from the hazardous trail.
Unfortunately I neglected to place his hind legs in a natural position.
Another species for which I want a better photo is the handsome trig. Some were singing on a cloudy day down in Fulton County, Indiana, and one came out in the open, but the low light resulted in a less than sharp image.
Tiny but colorful, the handsome trig lives in the southern part of the region I am surveying.
The Indiana Dunes area provided several photographs.
This oblong-winged katydid female was emitting single clicks in response to the more complex songs of nearby males.
A four-spotted tree cricket had escaped from my grasp before I could photograph it. While looking for it on the ground where it seemed to have gone, my headlamp revealed something better.
A female tinkling ground cricket, only the second member of the species I have seen (despite hearing hundreds).
A similar encounter came when I was trying to get a better photo of a melodious ground cricket at Indiana Dunes State Park. Digging through the leaf litter in the area from which a male’s song seemed to be coming, I turned up a female ground cricket.
When I examined the photos, though, I saw that the palps were white. This was a female confused ground cricket, another species that was singing in the area, and the first female confused I have seen.
One of the last places I visited this year was the Bong Recreation Area in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. The prairie area there is extensive, and has a good population of common meadow katydids.
Despite its name, the common meadow katydid is much less frequently encountered than two of its congeners, the gladiator and black-legged meadow katydids.
There were a few broad-winged bush katydids in the prairie, but I wasn’t successful in stalking one. This Texas bush katydid had to substitute.
Such encounters, sprinkled through the field season, make for good memories.