Field cricket

Field cricket. Photo: Queensland Government.

Field cricket. Photo: Queensland Government.

Common name: field cricket

Species name: Teleogryllus commodus

Family: Gryllidae (true crickets)

Conservation status: The field cricket is not listed under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Description

This species is a black coloured cricket, 2-4 cm in length. Females have a long spike out the back of their abdomen, which is called an ovipositor and is used to lay eggs.

Habitat and distribution

Field crickets are found all over Australia, in forests, heath, gardens and other urban habitats. They are sometimes called house crickets, reflecting their frequent status as uninvited house guests.

Life history and behaviour

We all know the mechanical, high-pitched sound made by crickets, but they can also make small thumps and bumps at night when they fly into lights, attracted by the glare.

The high-pitched sound is produced by males when they are trying to attract a female. The male’s wings have teeth-like serrations, and the chirping sound is produced when he rubs his wings together.

After breeding, female field crickets can produce an immense number of eggs – typically around 2,000 eggs in the few months of their short lifespan. Eggs are then buried, using the ovipositor, underground so that they are protected as they develop.

Field crickets spend the day sheltering in burrows in the soil or in vegetation, and come out at night to look for food. They are omnivorous scavengers, and feed on a variety of material including the remains of insects and decaying plants.

The field cricket belongs to the largest family of crickets, which has 715 species.