Early Season Survey: South
June 17, 2015 at 5:57 am (plant-eating insects, singing insects)
Tags: greenlegged grasshopper, Kankakee River State Park, Melanoplus viridipes, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Richard Young Forest Preserve
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.
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.
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.