Japanese burrowing cricket
Velarifictorus micado (Saussure 1877)

male 1
male 2
male 3
male 4
male 4
male 4
male genitalia

20 s of calling song [1.73MB]; male from Cheraw County, SC; 26.1C. (WTL551-2a)
5 s of calling song [257KB]; same as above but truncated and down-sampled.

Sound spectrogram of 2 s of calling at 26.1°C (from WTL551-2a). Dominant frequency 3.6 kHz.
Click on spectrogram to hear graphed song.

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.

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.

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

More information:  subfamily Gryllinae

Nomenclature:  OSF (Orthoptera Species File Online)