Another day, another bug

Last I left you we had several species of insects, but as is often the case in science, we wanted more. So last Friday we ventured out into the field again to see what new things we could uncover. After pulling up to a new spot, we immediately heard what the sound we wanted to hear: crickets! Now the hard part came. Every time we came close to where we heard one, it stopped. Waiting it out didn’t work either; we stood still and quiet for 10+ minutes before giving up on one only to have it start calling again as soon as we had walked away. Maddening. They don’t flush out the way grasshoppers and katydids do either. Rather than hopping around when you shuffle forward towards them, they hunker down and crawl away. Since they also blend in so very well they are nearly impossible to see, nonetheless catch! Persistence pays off though. Jess was able to catch one after over two hours of trying AND it was a male. We were pretty plum pleased, albeit grossed out a bit…I mean look at it…

lab member search through field
Me hard at work searching for those crickets!
brown bug in bug cage
One hideous bug…

We also managed to catch a bunch of grasshoppers that we haven’t seen before. Success!The species count for Friday: 1 cricket, 1 unknown katydid, 1 two-striped grasshopper, 6 unknown grasshoppers, and 3 Eastern swordbearers. This brings our total bug count to 31!

bug cages on lab desks
That’s a whole lotta bugs!

We are heading out on Wednesday to see if we can catch more crickets and some new adult male Roesel’s katydids. Should be interesting!