Red-headed Bush Cricket

A Red-headed Bush Cricket nymph cleaning its antenna [Canon 7D, Canon MP-E 65mm, speedlights Canon 580EXII]
Even a simple dog walk can turn into a voyage of discovery. Last weekend, when letting my dogs chase chipmunks in Estabrook Woods, I found this little gem of a cricket, a species I had never seen before.
It was a nymph of a Red-headed Bush Cricket (Phyllopalpus pulchellus), also known as the Handsome Trig (on the account of being both handsome and a member of the subfamily Trigonidiinae.) This species can be easily identified by the large, paddle-like mandibular palps, which these insects move in a fashion very similar to the way jumping spiders move their palps, and I wonder if their function might be spider mimicry.
The adults of this species are still a few weeks away, and they are even prettier than this immature individual, with black body and a crimson red head. I definitely will be on the lookout for them in August.

Update: I found an adult Red-headed Bush Cricket exactly one month later; read about it here.

A closeup of the head of a Red-headed Bush Cricket nymph showing enlarged palps [Canon 7D, Canon MP-E 65mm, speedlights Canon 580EXII]

5 Comments Add yours

  1. kathy h. says:

    I have been seeing these guys (10 or more at a time) all over our patio for the last 2 weeks, we live in Northeast Ohio. Glad to find out what they are.

  2. Sharon C. says:

    Just saw first one in Acworth, GA. Near a creek with trees all around so guess may be more!

  3. Missy S says:

    i found one in my kitchen tonigh. I am in North Little Rock, AR and never in my life (I’m 52 and never seen or heard one) seen one of these or heard a cricket sing SO LOUD! I immediatley went on line to identify it but havent really found out much. Just curious if anyone else in Arkansas has come across one? Is it normal for them to be in Arkansas? and I dont live near a pond edge, an opening in swampy woods, or watered native plant gardens . Thanks

  4. James C. Trager says:

    This species rather common in moist areas such as pond edges, openings in swampy woods, and watered native plant gardens around here (St. Louis).
    I think the wing dimoprhism of the males is interesting:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s