Listening in Nature: Small Delights and Large Discoveries: Subject Season, 2019

Gladiator Meadow Katydid singing Mentor Marsh in 2019 after the marsh 

was free of its phragmites invasion and native vegetation and bugs 

started to return.

Every year within the subject brings a number of surprises together with
fascinating documentation of cricket and katydid vary growth. There’s additionally
moments of pleasure on the small discoveries I’d by no means see or hear have been it not
for cautious commentary as I creep across the meadow vegetation at night time. After I
step out into the darkness of the singing insect live performance halls, I by no means know in
advance all the things I’ll hear and see.

The restoration of Mentor Marsh offered an encouraging instance of singing insect inhabitants restoration with the elimination of horribly invasive phragmites. I solely heard one Gladiator Meadow Katydid there final 12 months (2018).  This 12 months, guests on a marsh night time stroll heard  –
and even discovered – quite a few Gladiator Meadow Katydids singing within the native vegetation on both aspect of the boardwalk (photograph above). 

And take a look at this beautiful couple I found at
Bathtub Nature Protect in western Summit County! 

This feminine and male
Curve-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia curvicauda) had simply mated, as evidenced
by the spermatophore he deposited earlier than they separated. I by no means see mating
katydids, and it’s uncommon for me to even see the couple collectively. Bathtub Nature Protect offers 404 acres of habitat that helps a wholesome variety of singing bugs.

Though I do see molting katydids from time to time every year, I
all the time really feel honored after I observe this miracle. The photograph beneath is a bush
katydid nymph (genus Scudderia) alongside Cleveland Metroparks’ North Chagrin Lily Lagoon path alongside the Chagrin River.

For those who’ve learn this weblog for some time, you recognize that I examine
northward vary growth of crickets and katydids, particularly as extra southern
species extra into NE Ohio’s “snow belt” counties. 

It is fairly obvious why the northeast nook of the state is known as the 

“snow belt.” It is our reward from Lake Erie and infrequently, Lake Huron.

Documentation and knowledge are
greater than making lists and acquiring pictures and recordings. I’m watching change
over time occurring proper earlier than my eyes and ears. There’s an attractive component
of discovery to it, even after I’m caught in a blackberry tangle once more. 

Right here’s some
of what I realized this 12 months. The place species names are highlighted, the hyperlinks will take you to pages in my on-line subject information the place you’ll be able to hear recordings and see extra pictures.

A number of species are steadily – and relatively shortly – shifting
north to Lake Erie, and I doc these modifications yearly. Moreover, any
time spent within the subject may presumably deliver some surprising observations. 

I used to go right down to Summit County to listen to Leaping Bush Crickets, as they weren’t up within the Cleveland space. I used to be delighted the primary
time I heard one in our Cleveland Heights neighborhood and thrilled when the
first ones arrived in our again yard! 

 Leaping Bush Cricket singing in a hydrangea subsequent to our driveway

Now, nevertheless, I search the snow belt for the locations they
haven’t but arrived. This 12 months was their Lake County triumph. As a substitute of being
in scattered places, they appeared to be all over the place I checked. There have been
nonetheless a number of places in Geauga County the place I didn’t hear them, however that might
actually change subsequent 12 months. 

Good-looking Trigs (Phyllopalpus puchellus) are shifting quick as effectively. They, too, have gotten
frequent in Geauga County and are actually extensively current in Lake County. I
seldom even point out Cuyahoga and Lorain counties, the place each Good-looking Trigs and
Leaping Bush Crickets are actually ample.

Spherical-tipped Coneheads (Neoconocephalus retusus) are additionally lining up alongside the
lakeshore, as I’ve famous in earlier posts. I didn’t hear them in rural NE
Geauga County, although, so as soon as once more, which may be the realm the place extra southern
species are going to take longer to get established. Right here’s a Spherical-tipped
Conehead I heard – and finally situated with appreciable effort – at Leroy
Wetlands in Lake County.

A captivating little cricket I’ve been documenting not too long ago is
the Spring Trig (Anaxipha vernalis). This southern and central Ohio resident is spreading quickly
in NE Ohio. Their silvery songs are much more beautiful than the higher-pitched songs of the
Say’s Trigs, they usually sing effectively earlier than most singing bugs. Simply after I really feel
I can’t wait any longer for the primary cricket and katydid songs, there
they’re, singing in meadows and edges as quickly as night shadows fall throughout
the vegetation. 

As you will see in my up to date map beneath I’ve found further places
for them this 12 months. I am studying that they are more and more frequent in NE Geauga County and in Lake County, as are the opposite northbound crickets and katydids I monitor. 

The non-native Roesel’s Katydid (Roeseliana roeselii shouldn’t be invasive, and this
species really appears to be much less frequent now than a number of years in the past. I notice that’s an anecdotal commentary. Nonetheless, I discover I am  considerably shocked when considered one of
these beautiful little shieldback katydids reveals up in NE Ohio’s fields and

A strikingly coloured feminine caught my consideration on a
hilltop of a closed Lake County landfill that’s being managed for grassland. The grassy habitat was applicable, however how did she and her predecessors set up themselves up there? I
was decided to catch her to point out the individuals at a park program in
progress, and he or she finally was glad to sit down on my arm whereas being


Northern Bush Katydids are arboreal bugs with excessive, comfortable, elaborate songs. Consequently, it’s tough to know the place they happen and the way frequent they’re. However they
do come to lights, and it occurred to me final 12 months that these katydids may inadvertently be attracted by moth fanatics to their night-time moth lighting sheets. I inquired about them on Fb, and certain sufficient – I obtained responses
and pictures from counties the place I hadn’t discovered them.

My amusing Northern Bush Katydid (Scudderia septentrionalis) sighting this 12 months took no effort on my half. Whereas shining a flashlight on a shrub alongside a path
on the Rookery within the Geauga Park District, a Northern Bush Katydid flew down
from the timber and landed proper within the flashlight beam on a leaf as if it have been
a highlight onstage! Right here he’s:

Geauga County was additionally the situation of considered one of my glorious
surprises of the season.

I’d gone to Frohring Meadows within the southwest nook of the county simply to stroll after darkish. I had no expectation of listening to or seeing something of curiosity. It was chilly and I used to be
moping concerning the chilly climate that had curtailed my annual
Black-horned/Forbes’s Tree Cricket survey. Despite the fact that I used to be considering
whether or not I’d have one other alternative to renew the examine, I nonetheless watched all
the grasses and wetland edge vegetation I handed till all of the sudden…


At the least three Dusky-faced Meadow Katydids! This can be a katydid
I solely not too long ago present in our space, although it’s one that ought to nonetheless be current
in our remaining wetlands. It appears to have been pretty frequent sooner or later up to now. Nonetheless, my solely places for them have been Bathtub Nature Protect in
western Summit County (2016) and at each Wolf Creek Environmental Heart and Chippewa
Inlet Path North Wetlands in Medina County (2017). 

Most of Frohring’s wetlands have been created. I feel only one unique moist space had been current throughout the path from the 2007 wetland development. (Further wetlands have been created throughout the meadow in
2013.) I
by no means noticed or heard this species after I surveyed Frohring Meadows intimately in 2012, nor did I count on they may presumably be current. However now, there
have been these lovely faces and lengthy, elegant wings, and
I used to be amazed and delighted!

As well as, I additionally discovered Lengthy-tailed Meadow Katydids
(Conocephalus attenuatus) with the Dusky-faceds. 


This unusual wetland species is one I discover solely often.
Apart from a number of Quick-winged Meadow Katydid, no different crickets or katydids
have been seen or audible wherever I walked. 

My temper improved considerably that night.

Again in Cleveland’s College Circle, there was a brand new tune
exterior the establishments round Wade Oval. 

Japanese Burrowing Crickets. Velarifictarus micado had arrived.


I knew the tune from southern Ohio, the place they’re now
changing into fairly frequent. They usually sing from hiding locations between rocks, bricks, and pavers. 

However as of 2018, I’d solely heard one particular person up in NE
Ohio. Hidden among the many stones and plantings exterior the Rocky River
Nature Heart within the Cleveland Metroparks, he was singing loudly sufficient to be heard all
across the nature heart. This is a recording of him:

What a change this 12 months! Particular person males sang
triumphantly on the Cleveland Museum of Artwork, the Cleveland Museum of Pure
Historical past, the Cleveland Botanical Backyard, and close to the Cleveland Institute of

Had been there Japanese Burrowing Cricket eggs within the mulch
used round Wade Oval? I think about they’ve begun to get established now, so I’ll
hear for them subsequent fall semester. Possibly they are going to have unfold throughout the CWRU

I’ve saved my most fun discovery until final – a discovery
by ear. 

Whereas half-attentively listening to crickets and katydids
at nightfall in my associates’ yard in Peninsula, I heard a number of Lesser Angle-wing

Lesser Angle-wingeds (Microcentrum retinerve) are usually not alleged to be up right here. They need to be singing
down in Columbus and south. I solely knew the songs from my journeys to southern


Did I’ve my recording tools with me? No. In fact, I
got here again as quickly as doable and recorded as finest I may. It was a problem,
as they stay up within the timber and I needed to hear previous the noise from the three freeways
close by.

What route had they taken north? Would I be capable of hint
them again to central Ohio? I want I may let you know that I figured it out.

I drove all via Cuyahoga Nationwide Valley Park after
darkish on two subsequent nights, assuming it will be comparatively straightforward to seek out my
approach round this intensive park. Not surprisingly, this was fairly an unreasonable
assumption. Nonetheless, my pathetically disoriented nighttime rambling did flip up a Summit County Japanese Burrowing Cricket singing close to Riverview Highway.  

The Lesser Angle-wingeds appeared restricted to the Peninsula space alongside Stine and Riverview Roads. The map beneath reveals the 4 places the place they have been singing within the timber.

The pioneers are positively up right here. With so many species are
shifting north, why shouldn’t Lesser Angle-wings start to affix their Higher
Angle-wing cousins as they do in southern Ohio?

Discoveries and knowledge, songs and surprises to be continued
in 2020…

 Feminine Dusky-faced Meadow Katydid, Frohring Meadows

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also
Back to top button