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

Thomas J. Walker

The Featured Creatures collection provides in-depth profiles of insects, nematodes, arachnids, and other organisms relevant to Florida. These profiles are intended for the use of interested laypersons with some knowledge of biology as well as academic audiences.


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


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

Figure 1. Distribution of the Southern wood cricket throughout the United States.
Figure 1.  Distribution of the Southern wood cricket throughout the United States.



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).
Figure 2.  Male southern wood cricket, Gryllus fultoni (Alexander).
Credit: Paul M. Choate, UF/IFAS


Figure 3. Female southern wood cricket, Gryllus fultoni (Alexander).
Figure 3.  Female southern wood cricket, Gryllus fultoni (Alexander).
Credit: Paul M. Choate, UF/IFAS


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.


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


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).

Publication #EENY070

Release Date:November 17, 2017

Reviewed At:March 30, 2022

Related Experts

Walker, Thomas J


University of Florida

Related Topics

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About this Publication

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 the currently supported version of this publication. This document is also available on the Featured Creatures website at

About the Authors

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


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