sword-bearing conehead
Neoconocephalus ensiger (Harris 1841)

green male
stridulatory vein
face view

12 s of calling song [0.99MB]; male from Washington Co., Ohio; 25.0°C. (WTL194-14)
20 s of calling song [1.68MB]; 4 caged males from Livingston Co., Mich; 16.3°C. (WTL194-10b) [cages close; songs synchronized]

Waveform of 5 s of calling at 16.3°C (from WTL194-10b). Peak frequency 12 kHz.
Click on first half of waveform to hear graphed song.
Click on second half of waveform to expand last two syllables.

Identification:  Length 45-55 mm for males; 52-64 mm for females. Cone with pinched-in sides and a lower surface edged in black; stridulatory vein long and weakly swollen.

Habitat:  Wet grassy areas; moist fields and roadsides.

Season:  July–Sept.

Song at 25°C:  A continuous series of lisps at a rate of 10 per second, sounding like a distant, fast-moving steam locomotive (to those who are old enough to remember). A distinctive song. At low temperatures, neighbors synchronize their lisps.

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

Similar Species:  N. caudellianus is larger and its cone is thicker, with sides less distinctly pinched in. N. nebrascensis and N. lyristes have the lower surface of the cone wholly black or nearly so and stridulatory vein thicker and with more pronounced subsidiary veins.

More information:  subfamily Copiphorinae, genus Neoconocephalus

References:  Faure & Hoy 2000, Gwynne 1977, Libersat & Hoy 1991, Shaw et al. 1982.

Nomenclature:  OSF (Orthoptera Species File Online)