Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Gryllidae Members: NC Records

Allonemobius maculatus (Blatchley, 1900) - Spotted Ground Cricket


Taxonomy
Family: Gryllidae Subfamily: Nemobiinae Tribe: PteronemobiiniSynonym: Neomobius maculatus
Comments: One of ten species in this genus, all of which occur in North America north of Mexico (Cigliano et al., 2017). Eight species have been recorded in North Carolina.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Himmelman (2009)Online Photographs: SINA, BugGuide, Google ImagesTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Hebard (1913)SINA 540a.htm                                                                                  
Comments: A small, chestnut to dark brown ground cricket. The eyes of both sexes have a characteristic pale, yellowish ring around the outer side. The thorax and hind legs are spotted with piceous (glossy, blackish-brown).
Total Length [body plus wings; excludes ovipositor]: 7.3 mm, males; 8.3 mm, females (Hebard, 1913)
Structural Features: Hind wings are absent; no macropterous individuals have been observed (Hebard, 1913)
Singing Behavior: Songs consist of nearly continuous trills, with very brief breaks between groups of five to seven pulses, giving the trill a regular pulsing sound (Fulton, 1931). The pitch is fairly high -- one sonograph illustrated on SINA has a dominant pitch of 7.2 at 80 F (= 26.6 C). Although somewhat similar to the songs of Eunemobius carolinus and Phyllopalpus pulchellus, both of which can also have pulsing quality due to grouping of pulses, the songs of maculatus are much more regular, lacking the amplitude and pitch modulations and other shifts in pattern characteristic of the other two species. Each syllable is downslurred, similar to those of other species of Allonemobius, which gives the songs of maculatus a somewhat more musical quality than the songs of carolinus and pulchellus, whose pulses are more vertical, giving their songs a buzzy or ratchety quality.
Recording playback at normal speed.

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Nymphal Stages and Development: Based on photos on BugGuide, nymphs are highly mottled but recognizable as maculatus by the yellowish eye ring
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: According to Fulton (1931), maculatus is strictly a forest species, ranging from bottomland hardwoods to stands of mesic hardwoods on slopes. Some degree of shade and the presence of hardwood leaf litter appears to be essential.
Diet: Probably omnivorous
Observation Methods: Most easily detected by song
Abundance/Frequency:
Adult Phenology: Adults emerge in the fall
See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S4S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: This species is at least somewhat specialized in its habitat associations and the lack of hindwings probably limits its ability to disperse. Although more records are needed to determine its distribution, abundance, and habitat specificity in North Carolina, the information currently available suggests that maculatus is fairly frequent in common types of habitat and is probably secure within the state.

Image Gallery for Allonemobius maculatus - Spotted Ground Cricket

Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Scotland Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
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