Three bright colors, a loud chirping call, and a pair of fighting 'fists' are hallmarks of the Red-headed Bush Cricket.
The trio of colors on the Red-headed Bush Cricket make up three different body part: the bright red head, a black body, and pale yellow legs. An assembly of these particular colors in one insect is unusual in the cricket world. Most crickets are brown or black, which makes them better able to blend into the thatch and grasses that they eat from. This species has a set of palps in front of the head, which look like a short set of antennae. These palps have bulges, or knobs at the end of them which makes them look like padded boxing gloves. What's more, the cricket displays pugilism by constantly moving them around when it is anxious or excited.
Females have a long curved spine that extends from the tip of the abdomen. This is an ovipositor; crickets do not have stingers. It is used to deposit eggs into the soil to better hide them from predators and bad weather. Males make high-pitched trills to females in the area. The trill is created by rubbing its wings together at the base. One wing has a set of plates called a 'file'; the other wing has a flat 'scraper' that runs along the plates to create the noise. The motion is similar to flipping pages in a book, or cards in a deck. In the eastern part of the continent, this sound is a familiar one in summertime. Red-headed Bush Crickets are active all spring and summer. They can be found in areas with tall grasses or bushes. Look and listen for them about one meter or three feet above ground level.
Scientific Name: Phyllopalpus pulchellus
Other Name(s): Handsome Trig
Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 9mm (0.27in to 0.35in)
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