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Western Tree Cricket (Oecanthus californicus)

Remarks: The crickets that are labeled pictipennis on SINA are like those described by Morgan Hebard (1935) as the subspecies Oecanthus californicus pictipennis . The taxonomic status of these crickets is uncertain, but it seems likely that pictipennis will prove to be specifically distinct from californicus. This is because pictipennis does not conform to the usual concept of subspecies (geographic race). Individuals of the typical, all-dusky-green coloration occur in some of the same geographic areas as the pictipennis coloration. Tree crickets of the pictipennis coloration occur only on juniper and pinyon pine, where, as the pictures demonstrate, their coloration makes them less conspicuous.

Identification: Length 14–18 mm.

Habitat: Shrubby vegetation and low trees.

Season: Late May to November in s. Arizona; August until frost in Oregon; one generation annually in most, if not all, of range.

Song at 25°C: Continuous, musical trill at 57? p/s and 3.8? KHz.

Similar species: Texas tree cricket—except for differences in the calling song and distribution ???

Remarks: Western tree crickets are quite diverse in pattern and coloration. More study may reveal host-specific species comparable to the pine and tamarack tree crickets in the four-spotted species group. For example, those collected on juniper are often distinctively but protectively colored.

More information: genus Oecanthus, subfamily Oecanthinae.

References: Fulton 1926b; Walker 1962, 1967; Walker & Gurney 1967.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Thomas J. Walker

Source: Singing Insects of North America

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