Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Please help obtaining live samples of Field Crickets

Hello everyone, this is my first time posting on here. I hope to get some help in obtaining live samples of the Field crickets species, I just started my hobby of wanting to collect crickets. I would love to have some to raise in my terrarium for observation. I live in southern california, and will provide all the necessary funds to cover shipping and for the crickets. Thank you very much everyone for a wonderful website.

Gryllus Rubens
Gryllus integer
Gryllus pennsylvanicus

Hate to tell you, but those are NOT G. pennsylvanicus aka common black field aka fall field crickets! Almost positive that what you've really got is the two-spotted field cricket or G. bimaculatus, just as a couple of posters have already mentioned, and if you got them from a fellow collector or breeder of feeder crickets, then I'd bump that up to 99.9% positive. No, we're not going to turn you in, but you should be aware that this species is currently illegal to ship within the USA and Canada...ditto the recently 'discovered' G. locorojo or 'crazy red' cricket, which is also still being raised as a feeder cricket by many, regulations be damned. That said, I'm glad to say howdy to another cricket lover--I raise a lot as pets myself--and that you look to be caring for them quite well...they look happy! Do you feed them anything else besides what's pictured, though? Two-spotted crickets are reputed to be quite carnivorous as crickets go. They'll eat each other if you don't provide enough protein in their diet. They may also try eating you if you handle them, so watch out! ie. they likewise have a reputation for biting, and biting HARD.

Southern California surely has a LOT of wild cricket species to offer and if you're keen on the little guys, I'd second the recommendation to find out all you can about your own local populations and try collecting and raising them instead of going to the expense and trouble of buying non-natives (and possibly opening yourself up to legal trouble thereby). The huge advantage of working with local species, especially those collected within a few kilometers/miles of your home, is that you can always safely release such specimens back into the wild (at the appropriate time of the year, of course). Non-local species you can't release (or SHOULDN'T). You may also make some interesting discoveries specific to your own local populations whereas with crickets shipped in from elsewhere...well, you never know what the heck is in their gene pools or what area they really originated from.

Here's a fairly recent general article concerning feeder or bred-for-pet-food crickets, which you might enjoy reading:

And here's a more scientific, older article which has a lot of background on the different feeder cricket species, including yours, and why raising and selling some of them maybe wouldn't be such a great idea:

And then there's the story of the hapless math teacher and his one thousand two-spotted field crickets for whom he just wanted to do something 'nice'...(hard to take this one too seriously (most of the readers who left comments certainly couldn't), but it's a good example of how you can unwittingly run afoul of the law when you're unaware that said law even exists):

Good luck with your crickets!

Thank you for the information
Thank you for the information regarding this type of crickets, I am not going to release them you can be sure of that!!! They are safe and sound in my terrarium. Good luck with your hunts also, thanks!!

I got my crickets!!!
Hello everyone, I have got great news, I was able to obtain the field crickets that I wanted!!! I think they are Gryllus Pennsylvanicus, my collection is complete now, thanks for all the tips, if anyone wants to know where I got them just send me a PM, thanks!!!

these look like Gryllus bimaculatus to me

Are these legal to import into the USA?
Or perhaps illegal to ship within the USA? I can't seem to find good references on the matter.

You are right!! very similar.
You are right!! very similar.

thank you all for the helpful
thank you all for the helpful replies, I will definitely check them out. In regards to petco, petsmart.... I have been to all these local stores, and only found feeder crickets, which are house crickets. I have currently taking care of the species Gryllodes sigillatus in my terrarium. I hope I can find Gryllus Pennylvanicus, or Gryllus Rubens.

Pet store
Pet stores that sell reptiles often sell field crickets for food. There is a Petco in your area. Give them a call.

pet stores usually sell Acheta domesticus
or Gryllodes sigillatus, which are field crickets, but not Gryllus spp

There are native field cricke
There are native field crickets in CA too; here are all of BugGuide's records from the state. You could try checking out some of those localities if you had the chance.

There are lots of G. pennsylvanicus where I live, but frost has killed them all off for the season and I won't be seeing them again until probably July.

Good Luck! :)
Good Luck! :)