Black Field Crickets

Teleogryllus species

Biology

Black Field Cricket (Teleogryllus oceanicus)

There are two widespread, very similar species known as Black Field Crickets, Teleogryllus oceanicus and Teleogryllus commodus. Both species are common in eastern Australia and south-western WA.

They are often attracted to lights at night. They live under debris and in shallow burrows in open forest, pasture, farmland and gardens where they feed on plant matter. They can be a pest of pastures, lawns and golf courses. Males chirp repeatedly at dusk. 

Teleogryllus oceanicus was introduced to Hawaii in the 1870s. Many of the males there have developed flattened wings to resist parasitism by flies but have also lost the file and scraper apparatus required for producing sound and therefore the ability to sing.

Identification

Length about 25 mm. Both species are black with their wings drawn out to a long point behind. Females differ from males in having a long, needle-like ovipositor at the tip of the abdomen. They belong to the largest family of crickets, the Gryllidae, which contains over 715 species in Australia.

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