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  • Mormon Cricket - (Anabrus simplex)

    Mormon Cricket - (Anabrus simplex)

    The flightless Mormon Cricket can devastate food crops and threatened early western pioneers.

    Staff Writer (6/14/2017): In 1848, this type of katydid nearly wiped out the crops planted by Mormon farmers trying to settle in Utah. They've been called Mormon Crickets ever since. They prefer grasses and sage brush, but will eat a variety of other plants, including wheat and corn. They can be seen at the openings of forests as well in crop fields. While this species eats plant matter, sometimes it resorts to cannibalism when plant food is scarce.

    Adults chirp at regular intervals. Females have a curved ovipositor that looks like a tail, or stinger. It is neither. The ovipositor is a tube that pushes into the dirt, allowing females to deposit eggs just under the soil's surface. The eggs overwinter and small nymphs emerge in the spring, just when plants are starting to grow.

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    Details of the:
    Mormon Cricket

    Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
    Common name: Mormon Cricket
    Scientific Name: Anabrus simplex

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Orthoptera
          Family: Tettigoniidae
           Genus: Anabrus
            Species: simplex

    Size (Adult, Length): 25mm to 60mm (0.98in to 2.36in)

    Identifying Colors: brown; black; yellow; green

    Additional Descriptors: jumping, chirping, curved

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Arizona, California, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan

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

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