Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Gryllidae Members: NC Records

Pictonemobius hubbelli Walker & Mays, 1990 - Hubbell's Ground Cricket


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Taxonomy
Family: Gryllidae Subfamily: Nemobiinae Tribe: Pteronemobiini
Comments: One of four species in this genus, all of which are endemic to southeastern North America (Gross et al., 1989; Cigliano et al., accessed 2021-10-10). As many as two species may occur in North Carolina; the other two are primarily or exclusively Floridian.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: SINA, Google ImagesTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Gross et al (1989)SINA 528a.htm                                                                                  
Comments: As in other members of this genus, a distinctive pale stripe exists between the eyes on the frons. This species may be superficially indistinguishable from ambitiosus (see key in Gross et al., 1989), although the body in hubbelli is dark gray-brown but may be more brownish in ambitiosus. In both of these species the hind femora possess two longitudinal stripes and the dorsal field of the tegmina in the males have a pale border. The two other species lack these characters.
Structural Features: Femur length is 5.8 mm in the holotype male and 6.11 mm in the allotype female (Gross et al., 1989). The ovipositor length is 6.07 mm in the allotype.
Singing Behavior: Male calling songs consist of short trills (= "chirps" as defined by Gross et al., 1989), separated by pauses of uniform length. The pulse rate in hubbelli is the slowest of the four species identified by Gross et al., ranging from 29 to 42 PPS. The trill length is generally 1 sec. but was 1.5 seconds in a South Carolina population and 0.5 in some populations further south (Gross et al., 1989). The dominant frequency at 25 C is 6.4 kHz (SINA, accessed 2021-10-10) and the pulse rate at that temperature is 38 PPS (Gross et al.).
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: The habitat described for this species by Gross et al. (1989) consists of open pine and oak woodlands, including grass tussocks next to pond edges in such habitats. Our record from Moore County comes from a somewhat disturbed, barrens-like habitat dominated by xerophytic oaks with only sparse grasses and other herbs.
Diet: Probably omnivorous
Observation Methods: Males sing primarily during the day and are most easily detected by their songs (Gross et al., 1989)
Abundance/Frequency: Locally common at the one site where this species has been documented so far
Adult Phenology:
See also Habitat Account for Xeric-Mesic, Sandy Woodlands and Scrub
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR] S1S3
State Protection:
Comments: Only one population has been documented in North Carolina. More information is needed to confirm its identity and distribution within the state, but it is likely to be confined to xeric sandhill scrub habitats in the southern half of the Coastal Plain.

Image Gallery for Pictonemobius hubbelli - Hubbell's Ground Cricket

Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Moore Co.
Comment: Pulse rate is 40 PPS at about 80 F; the trill length is about 1.5 sec and the dominant frequency is about 6.0 kHz