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Red-headed Bush Cricket (Phyllopalpus pulchellus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Red-headed Bush Cricket.

 Updated: 7/15/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




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.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Gryllidae
          Genus: Phyllopalpus
            Species: pulchellus
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Phyllopalpus pulchellus
Other Name(s): Handsome Trig
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 9mm (0.27in to 0.35in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red, black, yellow
Descriptors: chirp, song, loud, tricolor, jumping, flying, knobs, bumps
Territorial Map
Alaska  
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Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
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
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
Note: 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 as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.