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common name: taciturn wood cricket
scientific name: Gryllus ovisopis T. Walker (Insecta: Orthoptera: Gryllidae)

Introduction - Distribution - Identification - Life Cycle - Habitat - Song - Selected References

Introduction (Back to Top)

The taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis T. Walker, is noteworthy in that it has no calling song. Males and females find one another for mating without long-range acoustic signals—as in most other insects.

Other Florida field and house crickets

Distribution (Back to Top)

The taciturn wood cricket occurs throughout the southeastern coastal plain and as far south as Highlands County in the Florida peninsula.

U.S. Distribution of the taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis.

Figure 1. U.S. Distribution of the taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis.

Identification (Back to Top)

The taciturn wood cricket is blacker than other species and has shorter, generally darker forewings. The length of the forewings is less than twice the median length of the pronotum. In this species the hindwings are never developed for flight. The stridulatory file of the male is shorter than that of the sand field cricket, and has the file teeth closer together than in the southern wood cricket. The ovipositor is more than 1.3 times the length of the hind femur.

Adult male taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis T. Walker.

Figure 2. Adult male taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis T. Walker. Photograph by Paul M. Choate, University of Florida.

Adult female taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis T. Walker.

Figure 3. Adult female taciturn wood cricket, Gryllus ovisopis T. Walker. Photograph by Paul M. Choate, University of Florida.

Life Cycle (Back to Top)

This species overwinters as eggs in the soil. Eggs hatch in April, and development to the adult takes about six months, with nearly synchronous maturation in mid September. This concentration of adults must help sexual pairs to form without the aid of calling songs. There is one generation per year.

Habitat (Back to Top)

Woods, though adults may wander into adjacent open areas. Most often in moist broadleaf woodland and in loblolly pine woodlands (a late stage in old-field succession of sites that were once broadleaf woodland).

Song (Back to Top)

This is the only field cricket that has no calling song. Males have the forewing specializations for sound making and use them to produce both fight and courtship songs.

Selected References (Back to Top)