Orthoptera of North Carolina
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Oecanthus quadripunctatus Beutenmüller, 1894 - Four-Spotted Tree Cricket

No image for this species.
Family: Gryllidae Subfamily: Oecanthinae Tribe: OecanthiniSynonym: Oecanthus nigricornis quadripunctatus
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: Online Photographs: BugGuide, Google Images, GBIFSINA 582a.htm                                                                                  
Singing Behavior: Songs consist of continuous trills. At 77 F (25 C), the pulse rate is 41 pulses per second and the dominant frequency is 3.9 kHz (SINA). Walker (1963) provides graphs of the relationship between temperature and pulse rate and between pulse rate and dominant frequency. For a given temperature, quadripunctatus has the slowest pulse rate of any species in the East.
Recording playback at normal speed.

Download Video: "MP4"

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: Fulton (1915) describes the habitat of quadripunctatus as "upland fields abounding in medium sized weeds such as aster, sweet clover, golden rod, ragweed, and especially the wild carrot or Queen Ann's Lace." Walker (1963) lists twenty species of plants found at collections sites for this species, all typical of old fields.
Observation Methods:
Adult Phenology:
See also Habitat Account for General Successional Fields and Forblands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S5
State Protection:

Image Gallery for Oecanthus quadripunctatus - Four-Spotted Tree Cricket

Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Moore Co.
Comment: 26 pulses/sec. Pulse rate matches expectations where the carrier frequency is about 3.0 kHz (Walker, 1963; Figure 14)
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Scotland Co.
Comment: 45 pulses per sec at 3.7 kHz; ~80 F
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Ashe Co.
Comment: 28 pulses/sec, 3.1 kHz at about 65 F. Recorded in a high elevation grassland with Vesper Sparrows singing in the background
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Calling from thick herbaceous vegetation, possibly from Ampelopsis. Pulse rate of 43 pulses per second at 77 F (= 25 C), 15:45

MP3 Gallery for Oecanthus quadripunctatus - Four-Spotted Tree Cricket

1 Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Cabarrus Co.
50 pulses per second, 4.3 kHz, 82 F, calling from dry expansive chest-high weedy habitat with saplings
2 Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
74 F, 36 pulses per second, 3.7 Hz, calling from waist high weeds in a detention basin