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European Mole Cricket (Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa)

Identification: This is the only species of Gryllotalpa known from eastern United States. Length, 36-46 mm.

Habitat: Moist, loose soils.

Season: Adults are present at all times of year. Calling and mating probably occur in May and June. In Spain, this species has a two-year life cycle, spending the first winter as a juvenile and the next as an adult. Eggs are laid in spring.

Song at 25°C: Low-pitched trill at 60 p/s issuing from several irregular openings in the ground (Bennet-Clark, France).

Similar species: Neocurtilla hexadactyla is less than 30 mm; hind tibia unarmed except at apex.

Remarks: This cricket is widespread in Europe and was evidently imported into the United States in shipments of ornamental plants. It reached pest proportions at a nursery in Rutherford, N.J., in 1915–1918, and was collected in nearby Wallington as recently as 1960. Other U. S. records are from Nantucket, Mass., Montgomery, N.Y., and Belle Glade, Fla., and may not represent established populations.

More information: family Gryllotalpidae, genus Gryllotalpa

Reference: Weiss 1915, Weiss & Dickerson 1918.

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© Thomas J. Walker

Source: Singing Insects of North America

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