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Publication #EENY071

Taciturn Wood Cricket, Gryllus ovisopis (T. Walker) (Insecta: Orthoptera: Gryllidae)1

T. J. Walker2

Introduction

The taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis T. Walker, is noteworthy in that it has no calling song. Males and females find one another for mating without long-range acoustic signals—as in most other insects.

Overview of Florida field crickets

Distribution

The taciturn wood cricket occurs throughout the southeastern coastal plain and as far south as Highlands County in the Florida peninsula.

Figure 1. 

Distribution of taciturn wood cricket in the United States.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Identification

The taciturn wood cricket is blacker than other species and has shorter, generally darker forewings. The length of the forewings is less than twice the median length of the pronotum. In this species the hindwings are never developed for flight. The stridulatory file of the male is shorter than that of the sand field cricket, and has the file teeth closer together than in the southern wood cricket. The ovipositor is more than 1.3 times the length of the hind femur.

Figure 2. 

Male taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis (T. Walker).


Credit:

Paul M. Choate, UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 3. 

Female taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis (T. Walker).


Credit:

Paul M. Choate, UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Life Cycle

This species overwinters as eggs in the soil. Eggs hatch in April, and development to the adult takes about six months, with nearly synchronous maturation in mid September. This concentration of adults must help sexual pairs to form without the aid of calling songs. There is one generation per year.

Habitat

Woods, though adults may wander into adjacent open areas. Most often in moist broadleaf woodland and in loblolly pine woodlands (a late stage in old-field succession of sites that were once broadleaf woodland).

Song

This is the only field cricket that has no calling song. Males have the forewing specializations for sound making and use them to produce both fight and courtship songs.

Selected References

Walker TJ. 1974. Gryllus ovisopis n. sp.: a taciturn cricket with a life cycle suggesting allochronic speciation. Florida Entomologist 57: 13–22.

Walker TJ. (2011). Taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis T. Walker 1974. Singing Insects of North America. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/Buzz/476a.htm (23 September 2011).

Footnotes

1.

This document is EENY071, one of a series of the Department of Entomology and Nematology, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 1999. Revised May 2014. Reviewed October 2017. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is also available on the Featured Creatures website at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures.

2.

T. J. Walker, professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology; UF/IFAS Extension, 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.