Gryllus spp.


Gryllidae, cricket

Common name - Field crickets and house crickets (Helfer, 1972).

Geographic distribution - found throughout North America (Swan and Papp, 1972). Their Colorado range extends from the eastern plains to the mountain foothills (Hebard, 1929). Habitat - live alone or in pairs in burrows that they dig. They move to above-ground shelters in mid-summer and remain there until autumn (Blatchley, 1920).

Food habits - will feed on cotton seedlings, alfalfa seeds, cereals, tomatoes, cucurbits, beans and peas. Indoors, they may feed on wool and fur (Swan and Papp, 1972).

Eggs - eggs are elongate, cylindrical and shiny, cream-yellow. Length, 3 mm; diameter, 0.8 mm (Criddle, 1925).

Nymph - eight to 11 instars but usually nine (Ramsay, 1964).

Adult - size is variable. Color is black or brown. The different species are difficult to distinguish. Head is large, nearly spherical and slightly broader than the pronotum. Antennae are slender and longer than the body. Eyes are round. Pronotum is shorter than it is wide with the dorsal posterior margin rounded; lateral lobe curves inward as if to tighten around thorax. Hind femora are large. Hind tibiae are armed with two rows of stout spines. Both sexes have long anal cerci. Female has a long, branched ovipositor (Blatchley, 1920; Swan and Papp, 1972).

Oviposition - eggs are deposited in loose, damp sand. They are deposited singly rather than in clusters or pods (Blatchley, 1920; Criddle, 1925; Swan and Papp, 1972).

Seasonal history - adults generally appear in July and August. Eggs overwinter in the north but in the southern states overwintering may be as nymphs or adults (Swan and Papp, 1972).

Abundance and importance - occasionally are abundant enough to cause damage (Swan and Papp, 1972).

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