Red-Headed Bush Cricket (Phyllopalpus pulchellus)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Red-Headed Bush Cricket.
Updated: 8/6/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Three bright, bold colors, a pair of fighting 'fists' and a loud, distinct call are part of the Red-Headed Bush Crickets repertoire.
The obvious identification markers for the Red-Headed Bush Cricket are its bright red head, black body, and yellow legs. These colors are noticeable in the the cricket world considering most crickets are brown or black, allowing them to better blend into the thatch and grass. They have palps in front of the head, which look like a short set of antennae.
These palps have bulges, or knobs, that look like padded boxing gloves at the end of them, which they constantly move around when they are anxious or excited.
Females have a long curved spine that extends from the tip of the abdomen. This is an ovipositor, (crickets don't have stingers), and it is used to deposit eggs into the soil to increase their odds of survival. Males make high-pitched trills to females in the area and in the eastern part of the continent, the sound is a familiar one in summertime. 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 in the "file" create the noise. (The motion is similar to flipping pages in a book, or cards in a deck.)
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 1 meter (3 feet) above ground level.