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Japanese Burrowing Cricket (Velarifictorus micado)

This species, native to Japan, was first discovered in the United States in 1959 (Alexander & Walker 1962). By 1977 it had become established in the District of Columbia and at least 23 counties in 6 southeastern states (Walker 1977). Its rapid spread was probably by overwintering eggs in soil in the root balls of ornamental shrubs shipped from nurseries near Mobile, Alabama. The largely suburban and spotty distribution of V. micado agrees with this scenario.

Japanese burrowing crickets are yellowish brown with seven or fewer ragged pale longitudinal stripes extending forward on the head from the front margin of the pronotum. A pale transverse band (along the arms of the epicranial suture) connects the lateral ocelli, and the pronotal disk has pale spots or blotches. The palpi are white. Length 13-19 mm.

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© Thomas J. Walker

Source: Singing Insects of North America

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