Shorttailed Cricket
Anurogryllus muticus and other species, Gryllidae, ORTHOPTERA


DESCRIPTION

Adult -- These crickets are similar to field crickets except for the short ovipositor. They are light brown with fully developed black wings. The body length ranges from 14 to 17 mm.

Egg -- The off-white, oblong, glabrous egg is 1.76 to 2.79 mm long and 0.59 to 1.18 mm wide.

Nymph -- The color is generally light brown in all instars.


BIOLOGY

Distribution -- In the United States, shorttailed crickets occur along the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Florida and west into Louisiana, southeastern Texas and the eastern half of Oklahoma.

Host Plants -- This insect will feed on grasses, weeds, pine seeds, and pine seedlings.

Damage -- In turf, burrows constructed by the nymphs and adults result in unsightly mounds of small soil pellets which may smother the surrounding grass. Burrows are most abundant when soil is moist and just after a rain during the warm part of the season. Nymphs and adults may feed upon blades of grass at night but the extent of damage is apparently negligible.

Life History -- Shorttailed crickets overwinter as nymphs in the next-to- last instar. After several molts in early spring, the insect reaches the adult stage. Mating occurs and oviposition begins in late spring or early summer. Hatching takes place in a multi-chambered burrow constructed by the adult. For a short period of time, both eggs and nymphs may be found in the burrow. Between the fourth and sixth instars, nymphs begin to leave the parent burrows and construct burrows of their own. At first burrows are small, 2 to 3 mm in diameter and 5 to 10 cm deep. As the shorttailed cricket matures, its burrow is enlarged and may reach a depth of 30 to 51 cm (12 to 20 inches). Only one shorttailed cricket is found per burrow except for a short time when certain burrows contain eggs and nymphs.


CONTROL

Certain species of spiders are suspected predators of shorttailed crickets and several tachinid flies are parasites of the cricket. At present there is no chemical registered specifically for shorttailed cricket control.