Crickets are a large group of insects that include more than 2,200 species. They belong to the Orthopetera order of class Insecta. Crickets are typically found in meadows, grasslands and fields. Most species are nocturnal, black or brown in color, omnivorous, and have two pairs of wings folded around their backs. Crickets resemble katydids, locusts and grasshoppers and have strong hind legs equipped with sharp spikes.
Cave and Camel Crickets
Cave and camel crickets belong to the Gryllacrididae family of insects. These are wingless, humpbacked and robust with long and slender antennae. Cave and camel crickets are gray or brown and typically blotched or mottled with darker shades. These carnivorous insects live in caves and woodlands and are active at night (nocturnal). An example is the Ceuthophilus maculates or the spotted camel cricket.
Tree, Ground and Field Crickets
Belonging to the Gryllus family of insects, tree, ground and field crickets range between small and medium in size and have flattened or compressed bodies. They have antennae much longer than their bodies, and their eyes lie on their forelegs. Tree, ground and field crickets can become a nuisance in buildings and homes and can occasionally damage fabrics (particularly woolen material and silks) and other materials. Field crickets in large numbers can defoliate roots of plants. Examples include the spring field cricket (G. Veletis), fall field cricket (Gryllus pennsylvanicus), striped ground cricket (Nemobius fasciatus) and the snowy tree cricket (Oecanthus fultoni).
The house cricket (Acheta domesticus) ranges in length between 19 to 22 mm and is typically brownish yellow in color. It has long, slender antennae that are usually longer than its body. House crickets are nocturnal insects and usually fly, jump or crawl to skylights or windows at night. They are harmless and commercially used as food for pets and as fish bait.
Pygmy Mole Crickets
Belonging to the Tridactylidae family of insects, pygmy mole crickets, also called sand crickets, are mole-like and less than 10 mm long with white and black blotches over their bodies. Examples include the larger pygmy locust (Neotridactylus apicalis) and the smaller sand cricket (Ellipes minutus).
Mole crickets belong to the Gryllotalpidae family of insects. Members have brown colored bodies that are modified for underground existence. Mole crickets, due to their burrowing habits and nocturnal nature, are rarely seen. Example includes the northern mole cricket (Neocurtilla hexadactyla).