Crickets and Katydids
Field Guide
Crickets and Katydids Biology
Questions for Discussion

Striped Raspy Cricket
Spider Face Leaf-rolling Cricket
Three Eyed Leaf-rolling Cricket
Pale-brown Leaf-rolling Cricket 
Greenish Meadow Katydid
Whitish Meadow katydid 
Blackish Meadow Katydid
Reddish Meadow Katydid 
Spine-headed Katydid 
Predatory Katydid
Short-winged Swayer 
Snub-nose Katydid 
Brown-backed Katydid
White-backed Nymph
Naskrecki's Bush Katydid 
32-Spotted Katydid
Speckled Katydid
Common Garden Katydid 
Common Garden Katydid
Brisbane Garden Katydid
Dark Green Katydid 
Unknown Nymph- I
Unknown Nymph- II 
Small Grassland Katydid
Gum Leaf Katydid  
Mountain Katydid
Unidentified Katydids
Slow-chirping Cricket
Silent Leaf-runner
Spider Cricket
Ground Cricket 1
Ground Cricket 2 
Silent Bush Cricket
Scaled Cricket 
Common Mole Cricket
Dark Night Mole Cricket 

Unidentified Cricket


Family GRYLLACRIDIDAE - Wood Crickets, Raspy Crickets and Leaf-rolling Crickets

This page contains pictures and information about Wood Crickets, Raspy Crickets and Leaf-rolling Crickets that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Winged male 
This is a large insect family. Members in this family Gryllacrididae, including late instars, males and females, will produce a raspy sound when disturbed. All of them are active at night. They usually spend the daytime in burrows or in leaves shelters. Both adults and nymphs produce silks by their mouthparts. They lay silk to line burrows wall or hold leaves together. Some build burrows or leaves retreats similar to those made by spiders.
The above photo show the cricket trying to show us that it is a spider. It is interesting to relate how the crickets evolved this habit with their spider-nest looking retreat.  
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Every evening Raspy Cricket wander and feed outside quite far away from their retreat. They can recognise their own retreats and go back home without problem. Recent studies show that they use pheromones to recognise their way home. 
They are medium to very large in size and usually pale brown to dark brown in colours. Most of the adults are fully winged although some are wingless. They are robust and generally with soft body. Their legs usually are not long, but strong and spiny. As other crickets, they have very long antenna, usually longer than two times of their body length. Notice that when they are resting in retreat, their antenna are folded in circular manner around their body length. For those species that fully winged, their front pair of wings, or tegmina are very soft. This character distinguishes this family from the other cricket families. 
Most species in this family Gryllacrididae are considered omnivorous (eat everything) although some are carnivorous. Their mandibles are sharp and elongated. 
When disturbed, the cricket inflates their abdomen and raise themselves with some of the legs up right. It then repeatingly move the abdomen against the stationary legs creating a low, raspy sound. At the same time it makes noise with the mandibles and wings. If this cannot drive away the dangers, the activity becomes more vigorous. 
The raspy sound seems to serve a defensive purpose only and not for communication. The cannot listen to each other. The crickets, both male and female, seems do not have any hearing organ. 
As other crickets, females in this family have long sword-like ovipositor.

Striped Raspy Cricket, Tree Cricket
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Paragryllacris combusta, nymph, adult female body length 50mm 
The 2nd photo shows the cricket feeding on nectar from the flowers of the Large Bird-of-Paradise tree in our front yard. We took the pictures at night on OCT 2000. We noticed that the cricket climbed up the same tree at the same time every night. It did the same routine the following days, even we captured it once and put in a jar. We watched it for a few hours then let it go. More information and pictures please click on here.
Spider Face Leaf Rolling Cricket
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Nunkeria brochis, nymph, body length 30mm               adult body length 50mm 
Spider Face Leaf-rolling Cricket is reddish brown to orange pale brown in colour with fully developed wings. It has very long antenna, all legs are spiny. The median ocellus of the cricket is very large. The cricket hide in nest on tree during the day. Their nest is usually two board leaves hold together by silky material. The Cricket has a dark face pattern resemble the spider's face, i.e., a pair of large fangs, group of compound eyes. It mimics spider behaviour as well. Details please check this page
Three-eyed Leaf-rolling Cricket
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Xiphogryllacris orthoxipha, last instars, body length 20mm 
This Leaf Rolling Cricket has the very large median ocellus which is as large as its compound eyes. So we call it Three-eyed Leaf Rolling Cricket. Unlike the two other species we listed above, there is no any dark markings on its face. Please check this page for more information.
Pale-brown Leaf-rolling Cricket
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? Apotrechus sp., body length 30mm
We found these Leaf-rolling Crickets a few time in Karawatha Forest. They were all hiding in their Rolled-leaf retreat during the day. The insects in those photos could be an adult male or a nymph. We have more information in this page.
Unknown Leaf-rolling Cricket
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? sp., body length 10mm
Nov 2010, Carbrook Wetland. 

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p380.
2. Grasshopper Country - the Abundant Orthopteroid Insects of Australia, D Rentz, UNSW Press, 1996, p59. 
3. Studies in Australian Gryllacrididae: Taxonomy, Biology, Ecology and Cytology - Rentz DCF, John B. 1990. Invertebrate Taxonomy 3: 1053-1210. 
4. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
5. Family GRYLLACRIDIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2008.  

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Last updated: June 07, 2011.