If you find a green tree cricket in North America, you can be certain it is in the genus Oecanthus. Most can be identified to species by examining the markings on the underside of the first two antennal segments. Four-spotted Tree Crickets are the only species of tree cricket that can be found in all 48 states of the contiguous US. Despite their subfamily’s name, this species tends to stick close to the ground. Grasses, plants and weeds less than 3 feet above the ground, often less than one foot, are favored.
Male tree crickets “sing” using their two front wings. A sharp edge or “scraper” is located on the upper surface of the lower wing and is rubbed against a row of bumps known as the “file” on the underside of the upper wing (view a scraper and file here). Chances are you’ve heard their loud chirp or trill before. Males have a cavity on their upper back, sometimes called a “honey pot.” They secrete a liquid into the pot that attracts females, which feed upon the liquid. This perfectly positions the female for mating. September and October, depending on location, is mating time, with the eggs hatching in June.
Size: 13 – 15 mm
Photo by: Glenn Marangelo on 9/10/22 near Clinton, MT