How to use SINA with
Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets


This page is intended for those prompted to come to SINA because they are using (or are interested in using) the Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States. Here are four questions that such persons might pose and two links for anyone just starting to browse SINA:

How can I hear a song that is pictured in the Field Guide?

How can I find if more species of a genus or subfamily occur in the U.S. or Canada than the ones covered by the Field Guide?

How can I learn more about a species of interest?

How can I learn more about a genus or subfamily of interest?

Tips for all SINA users.

SINA FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).


How can I hear a song that is pictured in the Field Guide.

1. Starting at the SINA home page, click on the green button that takes you to the group (Crickets or Katydids) that includes the species whose song you wish to hear.

2. Now click on the green button that takes you to the "List of species" for the group you have selected.

3. At the top of the list, click on the name of the family or subfamily that includes the species whose song you wish to hear.

4. Now click on the name of the species whose song you wish to hear.

5. Click on the song image (wave form or spectrograph) that is identical or similar to the one in the Field Guide.

For example, if you want to hear the song of the fall field cricket (third spectrogram from the top in the group of six on p. 196 of the Field Guide), this is the sequence of clicks you would use:
1. Crickets [green button]
2. List of species [green button]
3. Gryllinae - field crickets [name in list at top]
4. Gryllus pennsylvanicus - fall field cricket [name of species]
5. The only spectrogram for the fall field cricket is this one, which looks the same as the one in the Field Guide.

spectrogram

Click on this spectrogram and your computer should play the song.
If it does not, go to the SINA FAQ entitled Why won't my computer play the calling songs of crickets and katydids that are posted on SINA?


How can I find if more species of a genus or subfamily occur in the U.S. or Canada than the ones covered by the Field Guide?
(Perhaps the cricket or katydid you are trying to identify seems not to match any that are in the Field Guide.)

1. Go to the appropriate SINA checklist (crickets or katydids).

2. Compare the species listed under the genus, subfamily, or family that you are interested in with those that are included in the Field Guide.

3. Go to the species page or pages that may be of help.

For example, if you are trying to identify a katydid from southern Texas that seems to be an angle-wing katydid (=Microcentrum) but is too small to be the greater angle-wing (M. rhombifolium) and occurs beyond the limits of distribution of the other two species treated in the Field Guide, you would:
1. Go to the katydid checklist by clicking on the green button for Katydids and then the one for List of species.
2. Go to the genus Microcentrum in the list by clicking on Phaneropterinae - false katydids and then scrolling down to the genus (they are listed alphabetically).
3. There you will find six species of Microcentrum listed, meaning that three were omitted from the Field Guide. The three are M. latifrons, M. louisianum, and M. minus (the southwestern, Louisiana, and Texas angle-wings). Clicking through to the page for each species reveals that only M. minus occurs in southern Texas.


How can I learn more about a species of interest?

Whether the species is included in the Field Guide or not, SINA has a home web page for every species of cricket and katydid known to occur in the continental United States or Canada. The quickest way to get to a particular "species page" is to click on the name of the species in Checklist of Crickets North of Mexico or Checklist of Katydids North of Mexico, where the name of each species is linked to its species page. Each species page has spaces for a series of thumbnail images. The first space has a distribution map that has black dots showing specific localities for the species and shading showing the predicted general distribution. The remaining spaces contain thumbnails of images that are most often line drawings and color photographes of the species and its identifyings parts. Clicking on any thumbnail takes you to the "regular" version of the same image and to information about that image. Clicking on the regular version of most color photographs takes you to a "jumbo" version that is approximately four times the area of the regular version. Other features of species pages are recordings and images of songs, links to important literature, and links to pertinent parts of an online catalog of Orthopteran nomenclature.

For example, if the species of interest was Microcentrum louisianum, the Louisiana angle-wing (see above), you would find on its species page a map showing that it is known only from three widely scattered localities, photos of male and female pinned specimens, and a photo of the pronotal disk, showing how to distinguish M. louisianum from the closely related, co-occuring M. retinerve. You would find nothing about its song, because the species is one of the very few katydids in the eastern U.S. whose song is not known. Finally, there is a link to the bibliographic citation of a reference (Spooner 1986) that discusses in detail what is know about the species. A PDF version of the reference can be viewed with a click on its citation.


How can I learn more about a genus or subfamily of interest?

Not only does SINA have species pages, it has pages for most genera and for all subfamilies (and for the families Gryllotalpidae and Prophalangopsidae). The subfamily and family pages have, among other things, links to pictorial keys to genera and lists of references, many of which are linked to PDF files. Genus pages often discuss and illustrate the identifying features of the species within the genus. Pages for these higher categories can be found in the same way as species pages: go to the appropriate checklist and, within the body of the checklist, click on the name of the genus, family, or subfamily.