How to Identify Cricket Species

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Around 100 cricket species populate American habitats, according to Harvard University. You can distinguish crickets from grasshoppers by looking for long antennae and shorter wings. Crickets also tend to be nocturnal, while grasshoppers are frequently seen in the day. When it comes to telling different cricket species apart, you may have to look closer, or use other identifying signals. However, there are eight major cricket groups in the United States, according to the University of Florida. This makes identification a little easier.

  • Look for prominent, mole-like front legs and a light brown body. This is the mole cricket. Chances are you'll find the cricket in the ground or just on the surface near grass or crops.

  • Find bush crickets in southeastern regions of the U.S. No bush crickets exist in the western States and only two of 11 U.S. bush cricket species are found north of Florida, according to the University of Florida. Check for brown or gray coloring and long, spiny back legs.

  • Identify tree crickets by their white to green coloring, long antennae, and often large flattened wings. Tree crickets tend to make chirruping noises. Snowy tree crickets have black spots on their heads.

  • Strain your eyes to see the tiny ant cricket. This is the smallest U.S. cricket species, around a tenth of an inch long. Rarely seen in the wild.

  • Check the cerci at the back of a cricket. These are antennae-like protrusions, more prominent in males. Scaly crickets have large cerci in proportion to their body and a dark, scaly abdomen.

  • Search ground-level plants and grasses for ground crickets. Around half an inch long, ground crickets make intermittent high-pitched but soft noises, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Striped varieties have dark stripes along their bodies.

  • Spot sword-tailed crickets flying between plants in wetland areas. Look for well-developed wings that form a sword shape when closed. Wings may drop off when the cricket finds a suitable habitat for mating.

  • Check for crickets in your house. These may be field crickets, one of the most common species in the U.S., sometimes referred to as house crickets. Look for a stocky, dark body and very long antennae.

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  • Photo Credit cricket image by Gail Oswald from Fotolia.com
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