Spring and Fall Field Crickets (Gryllus veletis & Gryllus pennsylvanicus)

Song of a Fall Field Cricket (scroll down for explanation and additional recordings!).

The Spring and Fall Field Crickets look and sound the same — they are large, black, and round-headed, and their song is the quintessential cricket chirp. The two species were once thought to be the same, but scientific studies revealed that there are indeed two different species that are morphologically almost identical, but developmentally different – Fall Field Crickets overwinter as eggs and Spring Field Crickets as nymphs.

In areas where both species are found, they are best identified by when they are seen or heard. Because they overwinter as nymphs, Spring Field Crickets develop quickly when warm weather arrives and adults typically appear and begin singing and mating in late spring, continuing until late June or early July, when they finish laying eggs and die off. In contrast, Fall Field Crickets hatch in the spring, and adults don’t appear and begin singing until mid- or late July, after which they continue singing and mating into the autumn, when they are finally killed by frosts. In most areas of overlap, there is a period of silence in midsummer when neither species is heard.

Spring Field Cricket

Fall Field Cricket.

Both species are found in a wide variety of habitats, and are common around buildings where they hide in cracks and crevices, under rocks, or in shallow burrows. As winter approaches, Fall Field Crickets are attracted to heat and often find their way into houses or other buildings.

 

Song: The song of both species is a series of clear, loud chirps given at a rate of about one per second (or faster). Each chirp is actually a brief trill consisting of 3–5 pulses, given too fast for the human ear to detect. The frequency of the song is approximately 4–5 kHz, depending on the ambient temperature. Field crickets chirp both day and night from their hideouts, but are typically quiet at dawn.

Sonogram movie of a chirping Fall Field Cricket. Note that each chirp is actually a brief trill. Tree crickets can be heard trilling continuously in the background. © Wil Hershberger.

Other Sound Examples:

A special “courtship song” comprised of normal chirps (brief trills) roughly alternating with high-pitched chips is given by the male when he detects that a female is nearby. It is thought to entice the female to mate:

Caption goes here, including location and date of recording?

Here is a Spring Field Cricket singing from forest edge in May. Nulla suscipit elit sed augue convallis, eget ornare purus dapibus. Vestibulum varius lorem massa, sed tristique ante eleifend quis:

Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. May 20XX, 7pm. Copyright Lang Elliott.

Listen for a Fall Field Cricket in this multi-species chorus. Vestibulum fringilla, nibh sed pharetra convallis, arcu elit auctor velit:

Caption goes here, including location and date of recording?

 

Spring & Fall Field Crickets

Our Insect Musicians:

Introduction
Biology of Insect Song
Human Hearing & Insect Song
Beginner’s Guide to Song IDs
Advanced Guide to Song IDs
How to Find and Watch
Singing Insects as Pets
Relaxing Insect MP3s

Master List of Species
(with sounds)

Navigate to Species Pages:

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FAMILY DESCRIPTION

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Meadow Katydids (Tettigoniidae):
FAMILY DESCRIPTION
Saltmarsh Meadow Katydid
Short-winged Meadow Katydid
Slender Meadow Katydid
Woodland Meadow Katydid
Straight-lanced Meadow Katydid
Agile Meadow Katydid
Black-legged Meadow Katydid
Common Meadow Katydid
Gladiator Meadow Katydid
Handsome Meadow Katydid
Lesser Pine Meadow Katydid
Long-spurred Meadow Katydid
Red-headed Meadow Katydid
Coneheads (Copiphorinae):
FAMILY DESCRIPTION
Round-tipped Conehead
Nebraska Conehead
Robust Conehead
Slightly Musical Conehead
Sword-bearing Conehead
False Robust Conehead
True Katydids (Pseudophyllinae):
FAMILY DESCRIPTION
Common True Katydid
False Katydids (Phaneropterinae):
FAMILY DESCRIPTION
Clicker Round-winged Katydid
Common Virtuoso Katydid
Rattler Round-winged Katydid
Oblong-winged Katydid
Great Angle-wing
Lesser Angle-wing
Broad-winged Bush Katydid
Curved-tailed Bush Katydid
Fork-tailed Bush Katydid
Northern Bush Katydid
Texas Bush Katydid
Treetop Bush Katydid
Shield-backed Katydids (Tettigoniinae):
FAMILY DESCRIPTION
American Shieldback
Least Shieldback
Protean Shieldback
Robust Shieldback
Roesel’s Katydid

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