Jul 29 2012

They’re Singing Again

Published by at 6:30 am under Insects, Fish, Frogs

I don’t know about your neighborhood but where I live we had very little insect song during the hottest, driest parts of June and July.  I was starting to get worried.  I missed the happy sound of field crickets.

This has been a confusing year for insects.  Many of them emerged in March when temperatures were 20o-30o above normal.  I heard a couple of field crickets that month.

I also heard a few begin to sing on a normal schedule in early summer but they soon fell silent.  June and July were very hot, very dry, and a little spooky without insect sounds.  I wondered if the crickets were alive.

Probably not.  Field crickets (Gryllus pennsylvanicus) eat mostly plants including crabgrass, English plantain, switchgrass, common ragweed and chicory.  The plants were suffering.  So were the crickets.

Ten days ago it began to rain in Pittsburgh.  Thanks to almost daily thunderstorms our 2012 rainfall deficit turned into a 1/2″ surplus yesterday.

We have chicory.  We have mud!  And though there aren’t as many as usual, I now hear the happy sound of field crickets.

Sing on!

(photo of an adult male field cricket by Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “They’re Singing Again”

  1. Marcy Con 29 Jul 2012 at 10:39 am

    Dan and I heard crickets during the migratory count day, May 12th. Those hot humid nights the past few weeks, they were so loud you could hear them over the air conditioner…. no doors or windows open. I collected some “night bugs” for 4-H day campers for their bug camp and there are alot more bugs out at night than you can ever imagine…It’s very busy out there, esp at night. So how do they see at night in the dark?

  2. Stephenon 30 Jul 2012 at 8:26 am

    I’m missing the Katydids this year. I’ve heard a few around Bellevue, but not many in my area of Ross Township. Last year I had them in my backyard and they were quite loud. Don’t know if there are less of them this year, or they are just moving around from year to year?

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