narrow-winged tree cricket
Oecanthus niveus (De Geer 1773)

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antennal markings

20 s of calling song [1.72MB]; male from Nassau Co., Fla.; 24.7C. (WTL584-8)


Sound spectrogram of 5 s of calling at 24.7°C (from WTL584-8). Dominant frequency 3.0 kHz.
Click on first half of spectrogram to hear graphed song.
Click on last second to expand last 0.5 s of spectrographic image.

Identification:  Length 13–16 mm. Black mark on first antennal segment J-shaped or strongly curved toward inner side; vertex marked with orange (in fresh specimens).

Habitat:  Crowns of broad-leaved trees; sometimes in understory trees and tangled undergrowth; occasionally on herbacous plants such as blackberry and goldenrod.

Season:  Early August to mid-October in Ohio; mid May to December in north Florida. One generation a year in most of its range; two in north Florida. In south Florida, adults occur year round.

Song at 25°C:  A melodious trill interrupted briefly at intervals of 5 sec or less. Interruptions are not synchronized, so when several males are calling the sound becomes continuous. Pulse rate 71/sec; frequency 3.0 kHz. Easily confused with the songs of two-spotted and Davis's tree crickets, but trills by these species are interrupted at longer intervals and have faster pulse rates.

Song data:  See Walker 1962.

Similar species:  Davis's tree cricket—black mark on first antennal segment straight; no orange on the vertex.

Remarks:  Those delving into the scientific literature should be warned that the scientific name of this species, Oecanthus niveus, was mistakenly applied to O. fultoni (snowy tree cricket) prior to 1960.

References and Links: Allard 1930b; Fulton 1915, 1925; Shull 1907, Walker 1962, 1967. Collins 2010-date.

More information:  genus Oecanthus, subfamily Oecanthinae.

Nomenclature: OSF (Orthoptera Species File Online).