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common name: Texas field cricket
scientific name: Gryllus texensis Cade & Otte (Insecta: Orthoptera: Gryllidae)

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

Introduction (Back to Top)

The Texas field cricket, Gryllus texensis, is a southwestern species that occurs in Florida only west of the Apalachicola River. It is so similar to the southeastern field cricket that currently the two must chiefly be separated by their songs and that with difficulty. It has only recently been formally named, but where it occurs without its southeastern relative, it has been intensively studied under the name of "Gryllus integer," a name that properly belongs to a species that occurs in southern California east to western Texas.

Overview of Florida field crickets

Distribution (Back to Top)

The Texas field cricket occurs from western Texas east to western Florida.

Figure 1. U.S. Distribution of the Texas field cricket, Gryllus texensis Cade & Otte.

Identification (Back to Top)

The Texas field cricket cannot be distinguished from the southeastern field cricket except by analysis of the pulse rate of the male's calling song (= wingstroke rate during the trill). At 77°F the Texas field cricket has a pulse rate that is greater than 62. If the two species are singing at the same time and place, a trained ear can identify the crickets that are trilling at the faster pulse rate as Texas field crickets.

Long-winged, adult male southeastern field cricket, Gryllus rubens (Scudder).

Figure 2. Long-winged, adult male southeastern field cricket,Gryllus texensis Cade & Otte. Photograph by Paul M. Choate, University of Florida.

Short-winged, adult female southeastern field cricket, Gryllus rubens (Scudder).

Figure 3. Short-winged, adult female southeastern field cricket,Gryllus texensis Cade & Otte. Photograph by Paul M. Choate, University of Florida.

Life Cycle (Back to Top)

The Texas field cricket has two generations a year with late-summer and fall adults producing overwintering juveniles that become adults in spring of the following year. In western Florida, the fall generation has been intensively studied, but a spring generation has yet to be detected.

Habitat (Back to Top)

The Texas field cricket occurs in lawns, pastures, and roadsides and is often attracted to light in numbers.

Song (Back to Top)

The Texas field and the southeastern field crickets are the only Florida field crickets that trill—that is, they produce long-continued sequences of sound pulses that correspond to wing closures. Thecalling song (692 Kb wav file) of the Texas field cricket has pulses at a higher rate than the southeastern one, and the trills may be interrupted more often and more regularly (graphs).

Selected References (Back to Top)