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Northern Mole Cricket (Neocurtilla hexadactyla)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Northern Mole Cricket, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 8/12/2015; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Northern Mole Cricket  
Picture of Northern-Mole-Cricket
Picture of Northern-Mole-Cricket Picture of Northern-Mole-CricketPicture of Northern-Mole-Cricket

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.

Picture of the Northern Mole Cricket
Picture of the Northern Mole Cricket

Northern Mole Cricket Information

Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Common Name: Northern Mole Cricket
Scientific Name: Neocurtilla hexadactyla
Other Name(s): Mole Cricket

Taxonomy Hierarchy

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

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 20 mm to 35 mm (0.78 inches to 1.365 inches)
Identifying Colors: brown
Additional Descriptors: flying, jumping, chirp

North American Territorial 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

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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