Seeking Northern Limits: Broad-winged Tree Cricket

by Carl Strang

The broad-winged tree cricket was the first singing insect that surprised me by turning up north of its established range. That was back in 2006, and finding it abundant in DuPage County, half a state north of where it previously had been known to occur, was my first indication that there were significant gaps in knowledge that needed filling.

Broad-winged tree cricket

Broad-winged tree cricket

Since then, I have determined that this cricket becomes somewhat less abundant as one moves south to north in DuPage, but there are places where choruses of many individuals can be heard in the northern third of the county.

 In addition to the wide wings, this species has raspberry-colored basal segments in its antennae.

In addition to the wide wings, this species has raspberry-colored basal segments in its antennae.

Dorsal view of the same. I released this fellow after taking the photos.

Dorsal view of the same. I released this fellow after taking the photos.

This year I put some time into seeking broad-winged tree crickets to the north of DuPage County. I found them in two locations in northern Cook County: the Carl Hansen Woods Forest Preserve, where there are a few pockets of up to 20 singing males but much suitable habitat that remains empty; and, a little farther north, 3 singing males at Penny Road Pond, another Cook County Forest Preserve site. I sought them without success farther north.

The current known distribution of broad-winged tree crickets in the region.

The current known distribution of broad-winged tree crickets in the region.

I believe they still are spreading, and in fact a few years ago found them in southwestern Wisconsin at the junction of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. Documenting their spread will remain another item on my annual research checklist of goals.

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. October 1, 2013 at 7:22 am

    🙂 I’ll be happy if you manage to re-find them in Wisconsin!!!

    • natureinquiries said,

      October 2, 2013 at 5:51 am

      Nancy, I suspect that they are going now at Wyalusing, if you can get back out there soon. When I found them there I was reminded of other species (for instance the timber rattlesnake) that extend into Wisconsin along the Mississippi River well north of where they are elsewhere in Illinois. At some point they should make it into your counties, but for now it appears that the full length of McHenry County stands between you and them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: