Taxonomists agree that crickets are a monophyletic group,
that is, they constitute all the surviving descendents of a single ancestral species.
However, taxonomists disagree as to where in the taxonomic hierarchy this group belongs and
how it should be subdivided. For example,
Vickery and Kevan (1985) put crickets in the suborder Gryllodea of the order
Grylloptera, whereas we along with many others put them in the superfamily Grylloidea of
the suborder Ensifera, order Orthoptera. In our scheme, the initial subdivisions are
families, and we recognize only two: Gryllotalpidae, the mole crickets, and Gryllidae,
all other crickets. We treat as subfamilies some cricket groups that others treat as
families-namely, tree crickets, scaly crickets, ant crickets, and sword-tailed crickets.
We do this because the evolutionary relations of the major groups crickets are poorly
understood making it impossible to know what family classification will best reveal
phylogeny. It is worth noting that Mogoplistinae (scaly crickets) and Myrmecophilinae
(ant crickets) are generally considered to be sister groups as are Trigonidiinae (sword-tailed crickets) and Nemobiinae (ground crickets) (e.g., Gwynne 1995).
Alexander RD. 1962a. The role of behavioral study in cricket classification. Syst. Zool. 11: 53-72. [3112 KB]
Alexander RD. 1962b. Evolutionary change in cricket acoustical communication. Evolution 16: 443-67. [2996 KB]
Alexander RD. 1968. Life cycle origins, speciation, and related phenomena in crickets. Q. Rev. Biol. 43: 1-41. [5234 KB]
Alexander RD, Otte D. 1967. The evolution of genitalia and mating behavior in crickets (Gryllidae) and other Orthoptera. Misc Publ Mus Zool, Univ Michigan, No. 133. 62 p. [4939 KB]
Allard HA. 1930. The occurrence of the crickets Anaxipha pulicaria Burm. and Cycloptilum trigonipalpum (Rhen and Hebard) in the vicinity of the District of Columbia hitherto unreported here. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 32: 144-146.
Blatchley WS. 1920. Orthoptera of northeastern America. Indianapolis, IN: Nature Publishing. 784 p. Pages 638-642 (introduction to crickets and keys to subfamilies) [399 KB]. PDF files of Blatchley's treatments of the cricket subfamiles that he recognized are accessible on these SINA pages: Gryllotalpidae, Myrmecophilinae, Mogoplistinae, Nemobiinae, Gryllinae, Oecanthinae, Trigonidiinae, Eneopterinae. (The introductory pages to Blatchley's book are accessible on SINA's home page.)
Forrest TG. 1982. Acoustic communication and baffling behaviors of crickets. Fla. Entomol. 65: 33-44. [1416 KB]
Forrest TG. 1991. Power output and efficiency of sound production by crickets. Behav. Ecol. 2: 327-338. [Scapteriscus spp.; Oecanthus spp., Anurogryllus arboreus]
Funk DH. 1989. The mating of tree crickets. Sci. Am. 261: 50-59. [Oecanthus latipennis, Neoxabea bipunctata, Orocharis saltator]
Hung YP, Prestwich KN. 2004. Is significant acoustic energy found in the audible and ultrasonic harmonics in cricket calling songs? Journal of Orthoptera Research 13(2): 231-238.
Masaki S, Kataoka M, Shirato K, Nakagahara M. 1987. Evolutionary differentiation of right and left tegmina in crickets. In: Baccetti BM, editor. Evolutionary biology of orthopteroid insects. Chichester: Ellis Horwood. p 347-357. [1300 KB]
Masaki S, Shimizu T. 1995. Variability in wing form of crickets. Res Popul Ecol 37: 119-128. [1241 KB]
Masaki S,Walker TJ. 1987. Cricket life cycles. Evol. Biol. 21: 349-423. [6802 KB]
Otte D. 1992. Evolution of cricket songs. J. Orthop. Res. 1: 25-49. [4555 KB]
Otte D. 1994. Orthoptera species file 1. Crickets (Grylloidea). Philadelphia: Orthopterists' Soc and Acad Nat Sci Phila. 120 p. (A web version of this, by D. Otte, D. C. Eades, and P. Naskrecki, is continually updated.)
Prestwich KN, Walker TJ. 1981. Energetics of singing in crickets: Effect of temperature in 3 trilling species (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). J. Comp. Physiol. B Biochem. Syst. Environ. Physiol. 143: 199-212. [Oecanthus celerinictus, O. quadripunctatus, Anurogryllus arboreus]
Toms RB. 1984. Directional calls and effects of turning behavior in crickets. J. Entomol. Soc. South. Afr. 47: 309-312. [Oecanthus spp., Xenogryllus sp.]
Walker TJ. 1972. Deciduous wings in crickets: a new basis for wing dimorphism. Psyche 79: 311-314. [232 KB]
Walker TJ. 1987. Grylloidea (Ensifera): Gryllidae, Crickets. Pages 148-151 in F.W. Stehr, ed. Immature insects. Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque, Iowa.
Walker TJ, Carlysle TC. 1975. Structure of stridulatory file teeth in crickets: taxonomic and acoustic implications (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). Intern. J. Insect Morph. Embryol. 4: 151-158. [7569 KB]
Walker TJ, Masaki S. 1989. Natural history of crickets. In: Huber F., Loher W, and Moore TE, eds. Cricket behavior and neurobiology. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y. p 1-43 [3496 KB]
|subfamily (or family)||maps||photos||drawings||songs||text||key||refs|
|Gryllinae - field crickets||yes||yes||yes||yes||inc||yes||yes|
|Gryllotalpidae - mole crickets||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Eneopterinae - bush crickets||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Mogoplistinae - scaly crickets||yes||yes||yes||yes||no||yes||yes|
|Myrmecophilinae - ant crickets||yes||no||yes||--||no||--||yes|
|Nemobiinae - ground crickets||yes||yes||yes||yes||no||yes||yes|
|Oecanthinae - tree crickets||yes||yes||yes||yes||no||yes||yes|
|Pentacentrinae - anomalous crickets||yes||--||yes||--||yes||--||yes|
|Trigonidiinae - sword-tail crickets||yes||yes||yes||inc||no||yes||yes|