Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Gryllidae Members: NC Records

Anurogryllus arboreus Walker, 1973 - Common Short-Tailed Cricket

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Family: Gryllidae Subfamily: Gryllinae Tribe: GrylliniSynonym: Anurogryllus muticus
Comments: One of three species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Walker, 1973), and the only one that has been recorded in North Carolina
Species Status: Prior to Walker's (1973) revision, North American specimens were all identified as A. muticus, which Walker distinguished as a purely West Indian species.
Field Guide Descriptions: Capinera et al. (2004)Online Photographs: SINA, BugGuide, Google Images, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Walker (1973)SINA 491a.htm                                                                                  
Comments: A small, pale brown cricket. The color of the head, body, and legs are a uniform yellowish-brown, with the wings a darker brown (Blatchley, 1920). This coloration is unique among our Gryllids, although similar to Camptonotus carolinensis (Carolina Leaf-roller), which is completely wingless and has conspicuous ovipositors in the females.
Total Length [body plus wings; excludes ovipositor]: 12-16 mm, males; 17 mm, females (Blatchley, 1920)
Structural Features: The ovipositor is extremely short, unlike all of our other Gryllids but not completely absent as in the Mole Crickets. The ocelli are distinctively arranged in a nearly transverse row. Tegmina cover the abdomen in the males but only one half to two thirds in females; males lack hindwings (dealate rather than micropterous, see Walker, 1973) but females possess wings that often extend beyond the abdomen (Blatchley, 1920).
Singing Behavior: Fulton (1932) describes the song as a "steady loud trill without modulations, at close range with a distinct buzzy undertone". The pulse rate is 75 syllables per sec at 77 F (25 C) (Capinera et al., 2004), with an average frequency of 5.3 kHz between 64-93 F (Walker, 1973). Gryllus rubens, which also sings during the spring, has a similar trill with a similar dominant frequency, but has more frequent pauses and a slower pulse rate: 60 syllables per second when warm.
Nymphal Stages and Development: Nymphs remain for an extended time in their natal burrows, where they are brought food by their mother (Fulton, 1951; Walker, 1973)
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Adult Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species appears to prefer well-drained but moist soils, in which it digs extensive burrows (see Walker, 1973). However, the vegetation varies from closed-canopy hardwood forests to open pine-oak woodlands, to lawns and pastures.
Diet: Herbivorous, feeding on forbs, including cultivated species such as cotton.
Observation Methods: Males sing only at night and for only about one half to two hours after dusk (Walker, 1973). They often call while perched low on trees trunks, a behavior for which Walker named them "arboreus".
Abundance/Frequency: Locally abundant
Adult Phenology: Fulton (1951) recorded males singing in May and June in the vicinity of Raleigh, found females as late as August 2.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR] [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: We have records -- all historic -- from a fairly wide area of the state. Since it also does not appear to be a habitat specialist, occurring in human-altered as well as natural habitats, this species is probably secure within the state.