Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Northern Mole Cricket - (Neocurtilla hexadactyla)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 8/12/2015

The mud-loving Northern Mole Cricket has short wings and strong back legs allowing it to fly and jump whenever it likes.

Mole Crickets are a breed of cricket commonly found east of the Rocky Mountains with a broad range reaching from southern Canada into Mexico. They tend to operate during nighttime hours and spend most of their time burrowing into soil.

Identifying features of the Mole Cricket are their brownish body color. They have the expected powerful rear hind legs of a cricket. Wings are present and Mole Crickets can fly if they choose to. Wing sizes vary on the sub-variants of Mole Cricket.

Large powerful front legs help in burrowing into wet soil while tiny hairs along the body and legs help to keep the soil from sticking to the insect's body. Adults dig into the mud to create burrows for themselves. Males will chirp for females from their burrows and females will bury their fertilized eggs in their own.

Variations of the Mole Cricket include the Northern, Southern, Tawny, Prairie and Short-Winged. The European Mole Cricket is a larger breed (nearly 2 inches!) and is related, but has shorter wings.

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Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Common name: Northern Mole Cricket
Scientific Name: Neocurtilla hexadactyla
Other Names: Mole Cricket

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Orthoptera
      Family: Gryllotalpidae
       Genus: Neocurtilla
        Species: hexadactyla

Adult Size (Length): 20mm to 35mm (0.79in to 1.38in)

Identifying Colors: brown

Additional Descriptors: flying, jumping, chirp

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.