Woolly Worm Walk

Frabjous Day ... spring is finally bursting forth with a few days in the 70s and things are beginning to rock. High points yesterday included my first sightings of Woolly Worms (Woolly Bears) walkin' along with an excited gait. I managed to videotape one and I even wrote a little poem to suit: The Woolly Worm, Pyrrharctia isabella, is one of … [Read more...]

Stormy Night of the Katydids

As night was falling, a rumbling thunderstorm moved in from the west. Common True Katydids were calling raucously from the oak woods in back of my house with temperatures in the low 80s. The interplay of the storm and the katydids was a delight to my ears. Featured here is a portion of that recording. Listening with headphones will put you right in … [Read more...]

The Scuds are Singing!

It's mid-July and the scuds are singing, and I don't mean scud missiles. I mean katydids of the genus Scudderia, named after Samuel Hubbard Scudder (1837-1911), an early American entomologist. In nearby Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area, I'm now hearing the songs of two species: the Broad-winged Bush Katydid (Scudderia pistillata) and the … [Read more...]

The Fairy Bell Ringer

In her book, "A Sense of Wonder," Rachel Carson pens the following engrossing narrative while describing nocturnal forays in search of singing insects with her adopted son Roger: Most haunting of all is one I call the fairy bell ringer. I have never found him. I’m not sure I want to. His voice — and surely he himself — are so ethereal, so … [Read more...]

Japanese Burrowing Cricket

Folks have recently been writing and commenting after lectures about a rapid field cricket song they are hearing. Most of these reports are from urban areas and a few from suburbia. During a recent singing insect workshop in southern Ohio we caught one of these gorgeous singers in the act — a Japanese Burrowing Cricket (Velarifictorus micado). They … [Read more...]

April Shuffler – A Coneheaded Katydid Surprise

The spring insect chorus here at Land Between the Lakes is richer than I expected. Shortly after arriving here on April 19, I became aware of the chirping of Spring Field Crickets and I quickly posted a celebration of their song: The April Chirper. And I figured "that was that," as far as singing insects were concerned. But last night when I … [Read more...]

Spring Field Cricket – The April Chirper

I arrived at Land Between the Lakes late in the afternoon of April 18. As dusk approached, I noticed it was almost dead quiet. No birds were singing, no frogs were calling, and I heard not a howl or yip or chatter from anything furry. But there was one sound that stood out: the incessant soft chirps of crickets, calling from under the leaves along … [Read more...]

Long-spurred Stridulations

One of my favorite things to do, in late summer and fall, is listening to the songs of insects. Getting close enough to watch a katydid actually singing can be quite exciting. This video vignette of a Long-spurred Meadow Katydid gets right in there, up close. Being able to watch him sing is a great way to learn about stridulation. In crickets … [Read more...]

Jumping Spider Interlude

Jumping spiders can be very cute to look at — as long as you are a human. Their prominent central pair of eyes are large and endearing. However, jumping spiders are voracious ambush hunters. They lie in wait for a hapless critter to wander by. With lightning speed they pounce on their prey and begin to feed. It is a very good thing that jumping … [Read more...]