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. They have a broad range reaching from southern Canada all the way into Mexico. They tend to operate during nighttime hours and spend most of their time burrowing into soil. Large powerful front legs help the cricket burrow 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. A male chirps from his burrow to attract a female. After mating, the female buries fertilized eggs in her own burrow.
Identifying features of the Mole Cricket are their size, giant head, long tail-like extensions, and brawny legs. Hind legs are powerful, just like other types of crickets. The body is brown. Wings are present, though they may look stunted and short, and Mole Crickets can fly if they choose to. Wing sizes vary on the various subtypes of Mole Cricket. Variations of the Mole Cricket include the Northern, Southern, Tawny, Prairie, and Short-Winged Cricket. The European Mole Cricket is a larger breed (nearly 5 cm, or 2 inches long) and is related, but it has shorter wings.
Scientific Name: Neocurtilla hexadactyla
Other Name(s): Mole Cricket
Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 35mm (0.78in to 1.37in)
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