A New North for Jumping Bush Crickets

by Carl Strang

We are getting into the latter part of the singing insects season, and I have some catching up to do here. This time, just a quick note to update the northward advance of jumping bush crickets. This species has been spreading more rapidly than any others of our native singing insects. The Fox River has been my focus in recent years, as it appears to be a corridor they are following. The next county I expected them to reach was McHenry, and this year for the first time I found a population in the city of Algonquin in southern McHenry County.

Jumping bush cricket

I first heard jumping bush crickets in southern Kane County (immediately south of McHenry) in 2012. They have covered the 30-mile length of that county in 8 years. If they continue at that rate, they will reach the Wisconsin border in 6 years or so.

The red dot indicates the new location in McHenry County.

Their songs remind me of little bells tuned to slightly different pitches, and are loud and easy to hear as the males sing from hidden perches in trees, vines and shrubs. Here is a recording featuring jumping bush crickets:

4 Comments

  1. John Denk said,

    September 28, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Very interesting! The song recording sounds exactly like many of the crickets that I hear calling at night near Tinley Park in Cook County.

  2. Susan Cecala said,

    September 28, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you, this is a new one for me! I will keep my ears open for them. Also, please, please, what is the insect (?) that makes a clicking sound in September? I have been wondering about it for years. It sounds like someone tapping a quarter on a bar! 😂

    • natureinquiries said,

      September 29, 2020 at 5:57 am

      Hi, Susan, you probably are hearing greater angle-wing katydids. They live in trees, and one of their songs is a rapid burst of ticking sounds that remind me of a ticking watch.

      • Susan Cecala said,

        September 29, 2020 at 8:22 am

        Mystery solved, thank you!


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