cattail conehead
Bucrates malivolans (Scudder 1878)

short-winged, brown male
s-w, brown female
long-winged, brown female
l-w, green female
cone (anterior view)
cone (profile)
long-winged male 
short-winged male
male terminalia 

20 s of calling song [1.70MB]; male from Chatham Co., Ga.; 24.5C. (WTL181-12)

Waveform of 6 s of calling at 24.5°C (from WTL181-12). Peak frequency 10 kHz.
Click on first half of spectrogram to hear graphed song.
Click on second half of spectrogram to expand last two (of 13) "buzzes".

Identification:  Cone round-tipped without a prominent gap between it and the face; wings cover most or all of abdomen. Length 29-35 and 46-56 mm for short- and long-winged males; 34-46 and 57-70 for short- and long-winged females.

Habitat:  Freshwater marshes on cattails, sawgrass, and other tall grasses. Also in moist thickets and in tangled vegetation along wet or flooded ditches.

Season:  July–Sept., except in south Florida, where adults occur as early as April and as late as January. Perhaps breeding is continuous. Elsewhere there is one generation a year with adults appearing no earlier than June; n. Fla. data.

Song:  Coarse, raspy buzz repeated individually or at a nearly regular rate of about 2/sec. for short to medium sequences. Neighbors do not synchronize.

Song data:  Excel worksheet and chart (from spectrographic analyses).

Similar species:  N. exiliscanorus is somewhat similar in habitat and quality of song; but its buzzes are shorter and more rapidly and regularly produced.

Remarks:  Cattail coneheads can be shortwinged and flightless or longwinged (like a Neoconocephalus and presumably airworthy). They can also be brown or green and male or female. There are thus eight possible categories; however, no longwinged, green males are known. Few males are green (<5%), but nearly 50% of females are. The shortwinged form is predominant in both sexes (about 70% vs. 30% long-winged forms).

More information:  subfamily Copiphorinae

References:  Hebard 1939.

Nomenclature:  OSF (Orthoptera Species File Online)