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Japanese burrowing cricket

Velarifictorus micado (Saussure 1877)

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map male 1 male 2 male 3
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male 4 male 4 male 4 nymph
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female male genitalia    
Alien origin and spread of this SINA species.
20 s of calling song, male from Cheraw County, South Carolina, 26.1°C. Dominant frequency 3.6 kHz. (WTL551-2a) Click on sound bar to hear entire recording.
This sound spectrogram is a 2 s excerpt of the 20 s audio file accessible above. The excerpt begins at 9 s. Click on sound bar to hear graphed song.
Song data: Excel worksheet and chart (from spectrographic analyses).
Identification: Japanese burrowing crickets are yellowish brown with seven or fewer ragged pale longitudinal stripes extending forward on the head from the front margin of the pronotum. A pale transverse band (along the arms of the epicranial suture) connects the lateral ocelli, and the pronotal disk has pale spots or blotches. The palpi are white. Length 13-19 mm.
Range: This species, native to Japan, was first discovered in the United States in 1959 (Alexander & Walker 1962). By 1977 it had become established in the District of Columbia and at least 23 counties in 6 southeastern states (Walker 1977). Its rapid spread was probably by overwintering eggs in soil in the root balls of ornamental shrubs shipped from nurseries near Mobile, Alabama. The largely suburban and spotty distribution of V. micado agrees with this scenario. Bowles 2018 extended the known range of the species slightly north and greatly to the west (see map page).
More information:
subfamily Gryllinae
Nomenclature: OSF (Orthoptera Species File Online)
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