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Publication #EENY070

Southern Wood Cricket, Gryllus fultoni (Alexander) (Insecta: Orthoptera: Gryllidae)1

Thomas J. Walker2

Introduction

The southern wood cricket, Gryllus fultoni, is actually a field cricket even though it lives in the woods. However, a more precise nomenclature, say, 'southern woodland field cricket' would be too long and self-contradictory for a useful common name.

Overview of Florida field crickets

Distribution

This species occurs throughout southeastern US except in south peninsular Florida.

Figure 1. 

Distribution of the Southern wood cricket throughout the United States.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Identification

In the southern wood cricket, the color pattern of the forewings lacks the well defined longitudinal stripe of the southeastern field cricket and the well-defined light veins and crossveins of the sand field cricket. The forewings are not as short and usually not as dark as in the taciturn wood cricket. The stridulatory file has more widely spaced teeth than in the sand field cricket and the taciturn wood cricket. The ovipositor is less than 1.2 times the length of the hind femur. Long-winged individuals are not known from the field, but they occur occasionally in laboratory cultures.

Figure 2. 

Male southern wood cricket, Gryllus fultoni (Alexander).


Credit: Paul M. Choate, University of Florida
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 3. 

Female southern wood cricket, Gryllus fultoni (Alexander).


Credit: Paul M. Choate, University of Florida
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Life Cycle

The southern wood cricket overwinters as a mid-sized juvenile and matures in spring. In Florida, some of the progeny of spring adults overwinter as juveniles and others mature in late summer and may produce additional overwintering juveniles. Farther north, this partial second generation is lacking.

Habitat

Found in upland pine, turkey oak, moist to dry broadleaf forest.

Song

The calling song (672 Kb wav file) is a series of fast-pulsed chirps, with a chirp rate of about two per second. Most chirps have three pulses, with the initial one being somewhat weaker than the rest (graphs).

Selected References

Doherty JA, Callos JD. 1991. Acoustic communication in the trilling field cricket, Gryllus rubens (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). Journal of Insect Behavior 4: 67-82.

Nickle DA, Walker TJ. 1974. A morphological key to field crickets of southeastern United States (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Gryllus). Florida Entomologist 57: 8-12.

Walker TJ. (2014). Southern wood cricket, Gryllus fultoni (Alexander 1957). Singing Insects of North America.(11 April 2014).

Footnotes

1.

This document is EENY070, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 1999. Revised May 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is also available on the Feature Creature website at http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/.

2.

Thomas J. Walker, professor, Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


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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.