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Seasonal patterns

The seasonal occurrence of the calling song of a species indicates when males of that species are reproductively active. Knowing the seasonal occurrence of male reproductive activity may allow the observer to detect whether there is more than one generation annually. For example, B. B. Fulton (1951) noted the occurrence of calling in 54 species of cricket and katydids near Raleigh, North Carolina, and inferred that five had, or probably had, two generations per year. The seasonal pattern of calling may also give clues to the overwintering stage, because species with spring calling seasons are likely to have overwintered either as adults or late-instar juveniles. For species that require more than a year to develop (e.g., all cicadas and the northern mole cricket), the seasonal timing of calling may suggest what season is least risky for mating and egg laying or most favorable for early life stages of the species.

Seasonal patterns near Gainesville, Florida

For 15 months in 1970 and 1971 (3 May 1970 to 17 July 1971), T. J. Walker censused calling songs of crickets and katydids at 27 sites near Gainesville, Florida. The sites, selected to represent the principal habitats near Gainesville, were visited in the evenings on a regular schedule. Eleven were censused weekly; the remainder were censused every two weeks.

The results have not been published in a refereed journal but are here summarized in 81 graphs to show the usefulness of the method and as an aid to understanding the seasonal life histories of katydids and crickets in north peninsular Florida.

In each of the graphs, accessible below, only 52 of the 63 weeks of census data are shown. The 11 weeks that were discarded were often but not always the initial ones. In each graph, a break in the horizontal axis shows where the data from the two calendar years were joined to simulate one calendar year. For example, in this graph for the broad-tipped conehead, the break occurs between the last and next-to-last week in June.

Neoconocephalus triops seasonal graph

The number in parentheses after the species name for a graph is the number of sites at which the species was detected during the 63 weeks of censusing. The height of each bar estimates the number of callers that would have been heard if all sites could have been visited each week. For each site the numbers of callers for missing weeks were estimated by linear interpolation. Nearly all such interpolations were part of the original census design, since they were for the sites visited biweekly. In the graph above, the broad-tipped conehead (N. triops), which is nearly ubiquitous in late winter, was heard at 24 sites, with the maximum number attributed to a single week (21-27 Feb 1971) being 649.

For many species I had evidence of seasonal occurence to supplement the data from the systematic censuses. For each week where the formal census datum for a species was zero, supplemental evidence for the occurence of adults of the species is indicated by dots beneath the horizontal axes. Solid dots are used for data from hearing the calling song during the same year (large dot) or other year (small dot). Open dots indicate that the supplemental data are for specimens captured the same (large circle) or other year (small circle). The taciturn wood cricket (G. ovisopis) has no calling song, and adults are seen and collected only in fall (see graph below).

Gryllus ovisopis seasonal graph

KATYDIDS (Tettigoniidae)

Conocephalinae Gainesville data
       Conocephalus brevipennis (short-winged meadow katydid)
       Conocephalus fasciatus (slender meadow katydid)
       Conocephalus gracillimus (graceful meadow katydid)
       Conocephalus saltans (prairie meadow katydid)
       Odontoxiphidium apterum (wingless meadow katydid)
       Orchelimum militare (military meadow katydid)
       Orchelimum agile (agile meadow katydid)
       Orchelimum bradleyi (Bradley's meadow katydid)
       Orchelimum erythrocephalum (red-headed meadow katydid)
       Orchelimum minor (lesser pine katydid)
       Orchelimum pulchellum (handsome meadow katydid)        

Copiphorinae Gainesville data
       Belocephalus davisi (Davis's conehead)
       Belocephalus subapterus (half-winged conehead)
       Bucrates malivolans (cattail conehead)
       Neoconocephalus caudellianus (Caudell's conehead)
       Neoconocephalus palustris (marsh conehead)
       Neoconocephalus retusus (round-tipped conehead)
       Neoconocephalus robustus (robust conehead)
       Neoconocephalus triops (broad-tipped conehead)
       Neoconocephalus velox (swift conehead)
       Pyrgocorypha uncinata (hook-faced conehead)

Phaneropterinae (pt. 1) Gainesville data
       Amblycorypha carinata (carinate katydid)
       Amblycorypha floridana (Florida false katydid)
       Amblycorypha sp. B (Bartram's round-winged katydid)
       Amblycorypha sp. E (common virtuoso katydid)
       Amblycorypha sp. A (sandhill virtuoso katydid)
       Arethaea phalangium (eastern thread-legged katydid)
       Inscudderia strigata (guinea-cypress katydid)
       Inscudderia walkeri (eastern cypress katydid)

Phaneropterinae (pt. 2) Gainesville data
       Microcentrum retinerve (lesser angle-wing)
       Microcentrum rhombifolium (greater angle-wing)
       Montezumina modesta (modest katydid)
       Scudderia cuneata (southeastern bush katydid)
       Scudderia curvicauda (curve-tailed bush katydid)
       Scudderia furcata (fork-tailed bush katydid)
       Scudderia texensis (Texas bush katydid)
       Stilpnochlora couloniana (giant katydid)

Pseudophyllinae & Tettigoniinae Gainesville data

       Lea floridensis (Florida true katydid)
       Pterophylla camellifolia (common true katydid)
       Hubbellia marginifera (pine katydid)
       Atlanticus dorsalis (gray shieldback)
       Atlanticus gibbosus (robust shieldback)

CRICKETS (Gryllodea)

Gryllinae Gainesville data
       Anurogryllus arboreus (common short-tailed cricket)
       Gryllodes sigillatus (tropical house cricket)
       Gryllus firmus (sand field cricket)
       Gryllus fultoni (southern wood cricket)
       Gryllus ovisopis (taciturn wood cricket)
       Gryllus rubens (southeastern field cricket)
       Miogryllus saussurei (eastern striped cricket)

Oecanthinae & Eneopterinae Gainesville data
       Neoxabea bipunctata (two-spotted tree cricket)
       Oecanthus celerinictus (fast-calling tree cricket)
       Oecanthus exclamationis (Davis’s tree cricket)
       Oecanthus niveus (narrow-winged tree cricket)
       Oecanthus quadripunctatus (four-spotted tree cricket)
       Hapithus agitator (restless bush cricket)
       Hapithus brevipennis (short-winged bush cricket)
       Orocharis luteolira (false jumping bush cricket)

Nemobiinae Gainesville data
       Allonemobius fasciatus (striped ground cricket)
       Allonemobius funeralis (dusky ground cricket)
       Eunemobius carolinus (Carolina ground cricket)
       Eunemobius melodius (melodious ground cricket)
       Neonemobius cubensis (Cuban ground cricket)
       Neonemobius nr. mormonius (Mormon ground cricket)
       Pictonemobius ambitiosus (ambitious ground cricket)
       Pictonemobius hubbelli (Hubbell’s ground cricket)

Trigonidiinae Gainesville data
       Anaxipha delicatula (chirping trig)
       Anaxipha nr. scia (a tinkling trig)
       Anaxipha sp. C (pink-spotted trig)
       Anaxipha sp. A (nameless trig)
       Cyrtoxipha columbiana (Columbian trig)
       Cyrtoxipha gundlachi (Gundlach’s trig)
       Falcicula hebardi (Hebard’s trig)
       Phyllopalpus pulchellus (handsome trig)

Mogoplistinae & Gryllotalpidae Gainesville data
       Cycloptilum slossoni (Slossom’s scaly cricket)
       Cycloptilum velox (swift scaly cricket)
       Cycloptilum bidens (two-toothed scaly cricket)
       Cycloptilum tardum (slow scaly cricket)
       Cycloptilum trigonipalpum (forest scaly cricket)
       Neocurtilla hexadactyla (northern mole cricket)
       Scapteriscus borellii (southern mole cricket)
       Scapteriscus vicinus (tawny mole cricket)