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


Mole Crickets - Family GRYLLOTALPIDAE

This page contains pictures and information about Mole Crickets in Family GRYLLOTALPIDAE that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Mole Crickets have characteristic digging forelegs. Males produce songs and build burrows to amplify their love song. Their antennae are shorter than body. When dug up, they do not leap away like other burrow-inhabiting insects but dig their way back underground with powerful strokes of the forelegs. The dirt is simply forced aside. Most of them have developed wings and are capable fliers.
Most species are attached to the window light. Both female and male stridulate. Male makes horn-shaped entrance chamber of the burrow to increase the sound output. They sing for very restricted periods of time. They only sing in a wet evening, usually after a thunder shower or triggered by the watering of lawns. However, they stop singing after dark.

Common Mole Cricket
Gryllotalpa pluvialis, female and male, body length 50mm
Common Mole Crickets are dark brown in colour with shiny thorax. Although their wings look small compare to their body, sometimes we find them flying around during mid-summer. Notice their strong shovel-like forelegs for digging burrows. They cannot be seen easily but we always hear the males singing loudly with continuous trilling from burrows during a wet summer dusk. They only sing for a short periods of time. They start singing when the sky turn dark and end singing when the sky is dark completely, for about 30 minutes.  They do not sing when the soil is dry. The shape of their burrow is believed to help amplify the song. It is difficult to locate them by their songs even if you are within a meter from them. If you come a bit closer, they will stop singing. We have more information about Mole Cricket, please click on here.
Dark Night Mole Cricket
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Gryllotalpa monanka, male, body length 35mm
This Mole Cricket look similar with the Common Mole Cricket above except smaller in size. Their bodies are dull brown in colour. Their calling song is a quite different. We can hear them everywhere in a hot wet summer evening. The start calling after dark for half an hour. More information can be found in this details page

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p386.
2. Grasshopper Country - the Abundant Orthopteroid Insects of Australia, D Rentz, UNSW Press, 1996, p150.

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Last updated: June 06, 2011.