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Publication #EENY068

Texas Field Cricket, Gryllus texensis Cade and Otte (Insecta: Orthoptea: Gryllidae)1

T. J. Walker2

Introduction

The Texas field cricket, Gryllus texensis Cade & Otte, is a southwestern species that occurs in Florida only west of the Apalachicola River. It is so similar to the southeastern field cricket that currently the two must chiefly be separated by their songs and that with difficulty. It has only recently been formally named, but where it occurs without its southeastern relative, it has been intensively studied under the name of "Gryllus integer," a name that properly belongs to a species that occurs in southern California east to western Texas.

Other Florida field and house crickets

Distribution

The Texas field cricket occurs from western Texas east to western Florida.

Figure 1. 

Distribution of Southwestern field cricket in the United States.


Credit:

Paul M. Choate, University of Florida


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Identification

The Texas field cricket cannot be distinguished from the southeastern field cricket except by analysis of the pulse rate of the male’s calling song (= wingstroke rate during the trill). At 77°F the Texas field cricket has a pulse rate that is greater than 62. If the two species are singing at the same time and place, a trained ear can identify the crickets that are trilling at the faster pulse rate as Texas field crickets.

Figure 2. 

Long-winged, adult male southeastern field cricket, Gryllus rubens (Scudder).


Credit:

Paul M. Choate, University of Florida


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 3. 

Short-winged, adult female southeastern field cricket, Gryllus rubens (Scudder).


Credit:

Paul M. Choate, University of Florida


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Life Cycle

The Texas field cricket has two generations a year with late-summer and fall adults producing overwintering juveniles that become adults in spring of the following year. In western Florida, the fall generation has been intensively studied, but a spring generation has yet to be detected.

Habitat

The Texas field cricket occurs in lawns, pastures, and roadsides and is often attracted to light in numbers.

Song

The Texas field and the southeastern field crickets are the only Florida field crickets that trill— that is, they produce long-continued sequences of sound pulses that correspond to wing closures. The calling song (692 Kb wav file) of the Texas field cricket has pulses at a higher rate than the southeastern one, and the trills may be interrupted more often and more regularly (graphs) [February 2012].

Selected References

  • Cade WH. 1981. Alternative male strategies: Genetic differences in crickets (Gryllus integer). Science 212: 563-564.

  • Cade WH, Otte D. 2000. Gryllus texensis n. sp.: a widely studied cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) from the southern United States. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 126: 117-123.

  • Dixon KA, Cade WH. 1986. Some factors influencing male-male aggression in the field cricket Gryllus integer (time of day, age, weight and sexual maturity). Animal Behavior 34: 340-346.

  • Prosser MR, Murray AM, Cade WH. 1997. The influence of female age on phonotaxis during single and multiple song presentations in the field cricket, Gryllus integer (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). Journal of Insect Behavior 10: 437-449.

  • Smith CJ, Cade WH. 1987. Relative fertility in hybridization experiments using three song types of the field crickets Gryllus integer and Gryllus rubens. Canadian Journal of Zoology 65: 2390-2394.

  • Wagner WE Jr, Murray AM, Cade WH. 1995. Phenotypic variation in the mating preferences of female field crickets, Gryllus integer. Animal Behavior 49: 1269-1281.

  • Walker TJ. 1998. Trilling field crickets in a zone of overlap (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Gryllus). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 91: 175-184.

  • Walker TJ. (2011). Southern wood cricket, (Alexander 1957). http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in227 (14 September 2012).

Footnotes

1.

This document is EENY-068, one of a series of Featured Creatures from the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Published: January 1999. Reviewed: October 2011. This document is also available on Featured Creatures website at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Additional information on these organisms, including many color photographs, is available at the Entomology and Nematology Department website at http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

T. J. Walker, professor, Entomology and Nematology Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.