Early Season Survey: South

by Carl Strang

On Wednesday of last week I drove south to seek early season singing insects in some Illinois counties.

My first stop was Richard Young Forest Preserve in Kendall County.

My first stop was Richard Young Forest Preserve in Kendall County.

The forest was empty of northern wood crickets, but there were several groups of an early season grasshopper.

They proved to be greenlegged grasshoppers. Though not in either singing grasshopper subfamily, they were beautifully colored and worth a little effort to photograph and identify. This is a mature male; the crinkly little wings are full sized for the species.

They proved to be greenlegged grasshoppers. Though not in either singing grasshopper subfamily, they were beautifully colored and worth a little effort to photograph and identify. This is a mature male; the crinkly little wings are full sized for the species.

The preserve’s prairie gave up county records for spring field cricket and greenstriped grasshopper.

The preserve’s prairie gave up county records for spring field cricket and greenstriped grasshopper.

I went on through Will County, adding a couple site records at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, and also recording one of several puzzling ground crickets that sounded like striped ground crickets, and were in the appropriate habitat for the species, but were a month or more too early. I also checked the forest at Kankakee River State Park, but again failed to find any northern wood crickets.

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3 Comments

  1. old and tired said,

    June 17, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I take nature pictures of things that interest me when my health permits and then set about trying to learn their names, that includes insects. BugGuide shows me that Green-legged Grasshoppers live where I live and because of your post am now looking forward to some day coming across one of these cuties and get a picture of those short, stubby wings myself. I don’t have many pictures of Grasshoppers because they’re too fast for me but, with each one that I manage to capture an image of, I learn something new and fascinating — that’s true for everything, whether it’s a plant, animal, or insect. It’s a wonderful world and I’m glad for one of these new-fangled digital cameras that allows me to indulge my curiosity. I enjoy your blog. I may have said that before, but … oh, well …

    • natureinquiries said,

      June 17, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks! These are early season forest grasshoppers. Walk along a forest or woodland trail and look for them jumping. They seem to occur in bunches.

      • old and tired said,

        June 19, 2015 at 11:38 am

        noted — thank you, so much :o)


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