Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Gryllidae Members: NC Records

Oecanthus celerinictus Walker, 1963 - Fast-Calling Tree Cricket


Singing male

Adult female
Family: Gryllidae Subfamily: Oecanthinae Tribe: Oecanthini
Comments: One of eighteen species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (SINA, 2018), eight of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: Capinera et al. (2004); Lang and Elliott (2006); Himmelman (2009)Online Photographs: SINA, BugGuide, OSF, Google ImagesTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Walker (1963)SINA 583a.htm                                                                                  
Comments: A small, pale yellow-green tree cricket. Coloration and outward appearance are very similar to O. quadripunctatus, although the black markings on the basal segment of the antennae are distinctive: according to Walker (1963), the outer markings on the first and second antennal segments are as heavily pigmented as the inner marks, whereas in quadripunctatus, the outer marks are usually less heavily pigmented or may even be missing; the outer mark on the first segment is also never round as it frequently is in quadripunctatus. On the other hand, these markings are very similar to those of nigricornis, but that species is usually much more heavily shaded with black, including on the basal antennal segments as well as the pronotum. Photographs submitted as the basis for records of this species need to include a frontal view of the antennal bases.
Total Length [body plus wings; excludes ovipositor]: 11.8 mm, male holotype, 10.9, female allotype (Walker, 1963)
Structural Features: Males have 35-49 teeth on their stridulatory file, which overlaps with nigricornis but not with quadripunctatus, which has 50-67 (see Walker, 1963, for additional details).
Singing Behavior: Songs consist of long, continuous trills. At 77 F (25 C), the pulse rate is 65 pulses per sec, with a dominant frequency of 4.0 kHz (SINA, 2018). The pulse rate is similar to that of the fast-calling form of nigricornis, but the dominant pitch at that temperature is slightly higher in celerinictus: 4.0 kHz compared to about 3.7 in nigricornis (see graphs in Walker, 1963). Given the similarity in songs between these two species, identification is more certain based on coloration (see also Distribution Comments).
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: Walker (1963) describes the habitat of this species as consisting of forbs and brambles growing in old fields and other open situations, often in drier habitats than other species in the nigricornis group except for nigricornis itself. This species seems to be the most abundant one in the Fall-line Sandhills.
Diet: Omnivorous (Fulton, 1915)
Observation Methods:
Abundance/Frequency: We have too few records in North Carolina to estimate either the frequency of occurrence or abundance of this species.
Adult Phenology: This species has two broods annually throughout its range (Walker, 1963). Although we have few recorded dates for this species in North Carolina, Walker follows Fulton's estimate that the break between generations occurs around the first of August.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR] SU
State Protection:

Image Gallery for Oecanthus celerinictus - Fast-Calling Tree Cricket

Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Moore Co.
Comment: Common in old field vegetation; male seen singing from a broomsedge
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Moore Co.
Comment: Two males singing at slightly different pitches, both at about 40 pulses/sec. This pulse rate matches the expected value for celerinictus where the carrier frequency is 3.0 kHz (Walker, 1963; Figure 13)
Recorded by: Steve Hall, Todd Pusser, Bo Sullivan
Scotland Co.
Comment: Identification based on specimens

MP3 Gallery for Oecanthus celerinictus - Fast-Calling Tree Cricket

1 Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Cabarrus Co.
calling from an open weedy area with sparse saplings around noon at 62 F