False Alarm

by Carl Strang

A recent moment of excitement proved to be unfounded. I was hosing off the driveway, preparatory to sealing it, when the spray flushed out a tree cricket hidden in the siding.

The color spot seemed confined to the head. Could this be a Davis’s tree cricket?

The color spot seemed confined to the head. Could this be a Davis’s tree cricket?

I never had seen a Davis’s, though I have heard them singing several times. They generally stay high up in trees, and their songs are so buried in the nighttime wall of sound produced by other singing insects that I don’t have a good sense of their abundance or distribution. I spent a good half hour photographing this female before it occurred to me to check the basal antenna spots.

The curved, hook-like shape of the spot on the basal segment told me this was not a Davis’s, whose spot simply would be straight, but rather a narrow-winged tree cricket, a very common species.

The curved, hook-like shape of the spot on the basal segment told me this was not a Davis’s, whose spot simply would be straight, but rather a narrow-winged tree cricket, a very common species.

Nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned in every experience, and now I have a usable photo of the narrow-wing’s spots.

 

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1 Comment

  1. October 15, 2014 at 6:36 am

    I’ve had the same experience – only to be ruled out because of the antennal markings. However, I have found three Davis’ tree crickets on the screens / doors of our house this season. I agree that their song gets easily drowned out. I can stand 6 feet from a singing male, but can just barely hear it singing. It seems to me their volume is lower than other species.


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