The order of Orthoptera

Today, I have two insects that I found on the recent grasslands outing in the Orthoptera order (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids). First is in the Gryllidae family (True crickets). Second to be featured will be in the Flatidae family (Flatid Planthoppers).

First is the Narrow-winged Tree Cricket (Oecanthus niveus)! Here it is in situ.

Later I got this at home for the studio shot!

Most tree crickets are slender and light colored such as a whitish color or as this one is, pale green.

According to BugGuide, “can be ID’d by the markings on the first two segments of the antennae. The first segment (the scape) has a thick black ‘ J ‘ atop a white field. The second segment (the pedicel) has a small black mark against a white field.”

Here is a close up of a part of a wing! All tree crickets are great singers by producing loud trills by rubbing special parts on the wings called a file and scraper. Indeed that is subject to personal taste LOL! So most tree crickets lay their eggs in bark or on stems. Source: Borror’s Study of Insects. Also Borror suggests the best time to hunt for them is mid-summer to late fall.

Next is the second insect, the Citrus Flatid Planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa)! Indeed, with its small wedge-like or tent-like appearance it could be easily missed. The diet consists of mainly vines, shrubs and trees in the woods. ( Source: Borror’s Study of Insects Source: Borror’s Study of Insects). However, obviously it does not exclusively feed on citrus (in our area) like it name suggests.

So most of the planthoppers in this family are greenish. This one hides its green under a coat of a waxy coating. The species name pays homage to pruinosa which means “frosty”!

In this case, I’m afraid this one died overnight. Sorry guy! However that gave me the opportunity to get still photos. Here you can see the spots on the wings which is characteristic of this species. Like all others planthoppers, they suck the sap of plants.

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.

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