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Northern Mole Cricket (Neocurtilla hexadactyla)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Northern Mole Cricket

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The mud-loving Northern Mole Cricket has short wings and strong back legs allowing it to fly and jump whenever it likes.

Updated: 01/16/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.

Known Diet of the Northern-Mole-Cricket

plant root

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Jumping insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Gryllotalpidae
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          Genus: Neocurtilla
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            Species: hexadactyla
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Neocurtilla hexadactyla
Other Name(s): Mole Cricket
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 35mm (0.78" to 1.37")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown
Descriptors: flying, jumping, chirp
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 20mm and 35mm
Lo: 20mm
Md: 27.5mm
Hi: 35mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Northern Mole Cricket may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Northern Mole Cricket. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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