Orthoptera of North Carolina
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Allonemobius tinnulus (Fulton, 1931) - Tinkling Ground Cricket



Female
Taxonomy
Family: Gryllidae Subfamily: Nemobiinae Tribe: PteronemobiiniSynonym: Nemobius tinnulus
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.
Species Status: First described as a subspecies of fasciatus by Fulton (1931), based on a specimen collected in Raleigh. Raised to full species status by Alexander and Thomas (1959).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Capinera et al. (2004, not illustrated); Elliot and Hershberger (2006); Himmelman (2009)Online Photographs: BugGuide, SINA, Google ImagesTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Fulton (1931); Howard and Furth (1986)SINA 530a.htm                                                                                  
Comments: Fulton described tinnulus as tawny, with the head and pronotum cinnamon brown; the stripes on the head are faint or absent. Other members of the fasciatus group are darker or more strongly striped on the rear of the head (Alexander and Thomas, 1959; Howard and Furth, 1986). In females, the abdomen is buffy brown with a blackish median stripe; in males, the abdomen is nearly all black (Fulton, 1931).
Total Length [body plus wings; excludes ovipositor]: 8.1-9.2 mm, males; 9.0-10.2, females (Howard and Furth, 1986)
Structural Features: Only micropterous (flightless) individuals have been observed (Fulton, 1931; Alexander and Thomas, 1959; Thomas and Furth, 1986)
Singing Behavior: Fulton (1931) described the song of tinnulus as consisting of a series of "sharp, metallic chirps, with constant rhythm, 6-9 per second". The dominant frequency ranges between 7 and 7.7 kHz at warm temperatures (Elliot and Hershberger, 2006; SINA, 2017). Other species with similar tinkling songs include Allonemobius allardi, A. walkeri, A. fultoni, and Anaxipha tinnulacita, but all have a faster pulse rate at a given temperature than tinnulus (Howard and Furth, 1986; Walker and Funk, 2014). Anaxipha tinnulenta -- the Slow-tinkling Trig -- however, can be easily confused with A. tinnulus, as recognized by Fulton (1956). This species has a somewhat slower pulse rate, around 5 pulses per second, but sings at a similar pitch, between 6.5 and 7 kHz (Walker and Funk, 2014) and has a similar pure tonal quality. The range and phenology of this species in North Carolina also closely overlaps that of Allonemobius tinnulus. Anaxipha tinnulenta, however, is associated with old fields, wood edges, and other fairly open, weedy habitats (Walker and Funk, 2014), not the dry woodlands occupied by A. tinnulus. Trigs also sing from up in vegetation whereas ground crickets stick close to the surface.
Recording playback at normal speed.

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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: According to Fulton (1931), tinnulus is a woodland species, occurring in both pine woodlands and dry oak-hickory woodlands.
Diet: Probably omnivorous
Observation Methods: Most easily detected by song
Abundance/Frequency: Usually heard as solitary individuals
Adult Phenology: In North Carolina, males begin to sing in early August and have been heard as late as early December (Fulton, 1951)
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 appears to be widespread across the state and associated with common types of forest habitats. Consequently, it appears to be secure.

Image Gallery for Allonemobius tinnulus - Tinkling Ground Cricket

Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Moore Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Wilkes Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Ashe Co.
Comment: 7-8 pulses per second; temperature was in the low 80s
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Cabarrus Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Moore Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Call was coming from below head level. Interesting that when looking directly at a call I couldn't hear it, but when turning my ear toward the call I could. In a sense I could turn the call off or on by rotating my head.
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Singing in a stand of Dry Oak-Hickory Forest, with Phyllopalpus and Anaxipha thomasi in the background
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Female
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: 7-8 pulses per second @ 7.4 kHz, 88 degrees F (= 31 C); singing along the edge of a mixed stand of pines and hardwoods
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Several seen along a gravel road running between a grassy field and a stand of dry, second-growth hardwoods; close to where a recording was made

MP3 Gallery for Allonemobius tinnulus - Tinkling Ground Cricket

1 Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
2021-09-30
82 F, 2:40 pm, calling in open weedy habitat
2 Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Cabarrus Co.
2020-10-21
7 pulses per second, 7.6 kHz, 80 F, calling from area with young hardwood saplings
3 Recorded by: Jim Petranka
Madison Co.
2020-08-26
Individual was calling from near a brush pile in a woodland setting with sourwood and eastern white pine.
4 Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
2020-08-22
calling from woodland just before entering prairie, call with 8 pulses per second at 29C, 8kHz. Call was coming from below head level. Interesting that when looking directly at a call I couldn't hear it, but when turning my ear toward the call I could. In a sense I could turn the call off or on by rotating my head.
5 Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
2019-08-15