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Chisos Mountains field cricket

Gryllus chisosensis Weissman & Gray 2019

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map holotype male female  
50 s of calling; from Brewster County, Tex.; 24°C. Dominant frequency 4.2 kHz. Recording by D.B. Weissman (S07-36, R07-116); used by permission. Click on sound bar to hear entire recording.
This sound spectrogram is a 10 s excerpt of the 50 s audio file accessible above. The excerpt begins at 24 s. Click on sound bar to hear graphed song.
Sound spectrogram showing first 4 chirps of 10 s sample above. Click on sound bar to hear graphed song.
Song: 4-5 pulses per chirp, 90-150 chirps per minute. Pulse rate 14-17 at 25°C.
Identification: Almost entirely black with red-orange color inside of hind femur. Cerci longer than ovipositor. A key to the adult males of native US Gryllus is in Weissman and Gray (2019).
DNA: DNA analysis places G. chisosensis phylogenetically near G. veletisoides. DNA analysis also shows that though G. chisosensis and G. longicercus have similar phenotype, ecology, and song structure, they are not closely related. For more information about DNA testing, see Weissman and Gray (2019).
Similar species: Gryllus chisosensis has a pulse rate that is higher than G. longicercus and lower than G. transpecos. Gryllus longicercus has a similar number of file teeth (>168) as Gryllus chisosensis, but more teeth per millimeter. Gryllus transpecos has fewer file teeth (about 142) than Gryllus chisosensis. Gryllus chisosensis is found in pinyon-juniper oak woodland, inhabiting deep rock piles while G. longicercus is found in open, rocky Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert scrub habitat. Gryllus transpecos, though found in rocky habitat, does not inhabit deep rock piles.
Range: A sky island inhabitant found only in the Chisos Mountains, which are located in the Big Bend region of Texas.
Habitat: Found in extensive rock piles on talus slopes in Pinyon-Juniper oak woodland.
Life cycle: Probably one generation per year.
Season: Adults heard singing from May to June.
Remarks: Gryllus chisosensis is hard to collect because it is uncommon and because it retreats into deep rock piles when disturbed. As observed in other rock-chirping crickets, G. chisosensis may continue to sing while retreating. Two orthopteroid species that are also restricted to the Chisos Mountains are the walking stick Diapheromera torquata Hebard and the katydid Paracyrtophyllus escelsus (Rehn and Hebard).

As early as 1980 David B. Weissman began publishing the results of his field and laboratory studies of the Gryllus of the United States and Canada (Weissman et al. 1980). By 2003, David Gray had started his cooperation with Weissman by providing genetic analysis of the living Gryllus made available by Weissman's studies (e.g., Weissman, Walker, and Gray 2009). Weissman and Gray's manuscript regarding the Gryllus of US and Canada was published in Zootaxa on 5 December 2019. [The manuscript will soon be made available.]
Name derivation: Named after the Chisos Mountains.
More information:
subfamily Gryllinae, genus Gryllus
References: Weissman and Gray 2019
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