Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Gryllidae Members: NC Records

Miogryllus verticalis (Serville, 1838) - Eastern Striped Cricket

Family: Gryllidae Subfamily: Gryllinae Tribe: ModicogrylliniSynonym: Miogryllus saussurei
Comments: One of twenty-two species in this genus, only two of which occur in North America north of Mexico (Cigliano et al., 2018); verticalis is the sole species in the East
Species Status: Walker (SINA, 2018) makes a case for why this species should be called Miogryllus saussurei, the opposite side having been taken by Hebard (1915) and Blatchley (1920). However, it is still listed as verticalis by both SINA and OSF; consequently, that is the name that we are using.
Field Guide Descriptions: Elliott and Hershberger (2006); Himmelman (2009)Online Photographs: SINA, BugGuide (as M. saussurei), Songs of Insects, Google ImagesTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Hebard (1915); Blatchley (1920)SINA 521a.htm                                                                                  
Comments: A small, cricket with distinctive head markings. The head is large, globe-shaped, and shining black. Pale lines encircle the eyes and extend to the rear margin of the head; four short longitudinal pale lines are also located at the rear of the occiput. The head markings are similar to those of Velarifictorus micado but lacks the continuous white line that connects the antennal bases in that species. The head is also less globose in micado and its palps are white rather than yellowish with a dusky tip as in verticalis.
Total Length [body plus wings; excludes ovipositor]: 10-16 mm, males; 11-17.5, females (Hebard, 1915)
Structural Features: According to Hebard (1915), both macropterous and micropterous individuals exist; Blatchley (1920) mentions that Brimley collected a long-winged form in Raleigh. Hind tibiae are two-thirds or less the length of the hind femora (longer in Gryllus species) and have four to five spines on the outer side (five to eight in Gryllus) (Blatchley, 1920).
Singing Behavior: Songs consist of short buzzy chirps separated by intervals longer than the chirps themselves. The chirp rate is highly variable: according to Fulton (1932) 6-11 chirps are produced per minute, but we have a recording where the rate was 42 per minute and SINA has an example from Cumberland County, NC, where the rate was 46 per minute; Allard (1911) also mentions an individual with a rate of 38-39 chirps per minute. Each chirp rises slightly in pitch and amplitude from at least the initiation to the main portion of the trill. The dominant pitch at about 77 F (25 C) ranges from 6.9 - 7.8 kHz (SINA, 2018).
Recording playback at normal speed.

Download Video: "MP4"

Nymphal Stages and Development: Apparently not described, but illustrations on BugGuide show pale lines on the head, which should make them identifiable as this species
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)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Reportedly occupies areas of sparse or short grasses in fairly dry uplands (Blatchley, 1920; Himmelman, 2009). We have records from a stand of dry Coastal Fringe Evergreen Forest, a lawn with sparse grasses in the Sandhills, a dry slope under a powerline in the Piedmont, and a dry roadside right-of-way in the Mountains.
Diet: Not recorded but probably omnivorous
Observation Methods: Sings mostly at night (Fulton, 1932), but at least occasionally during the morning as late as 9:00 (S. Hall, pers. obs.). The songs are reportedly difficult to localize and individuals are difficult to capture once found (Brimley, 1920).
Abundance/Frequency: We have too few records for this species to estimate its frequency of occurrence or abundance in North Carolina. Males at one site in Brunswick County appeared to be singing from fairly widely separated locations
Adult Phenology: Fulton (1951) indicates that adults appear in mid-May and persist until early August
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR S4?]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: We currently have few recent records for this species, but it occupies a wide range of habitats -- including disturbed areas -- and occurs over a fairly wide area of the state. For those reasons, we believe that it is probably relatively secure within the state.

Image Gallery for Miogryllus verticalis - Eastern Striped Cricket

Recorded by: Jim Petranka
Graham Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall and Bo Sullivan
Brunswick Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall and Bo Sullivan
Brunswick Co.
Comment: Recorded at 8:54, ~81 F
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Brunswick Co.
Comment: Recorded at 22:22 in maritime forest; 80 F (26.6 C). Heard amid a heavy chorus of True Katydids

MP3 Gallery for Miogryllus verticalis - Eastern Striped Cricket

1 Recorded by: Jim Petranka
Graham Co.
Calling from a dry road-cut that had rather sparse vegetation.