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

Species Oecanthus fultoni - Snowy Tree Cricket

Snowy Tree Cricket - Oecanthus fultoni - female tree cricket - Oecanthus fultoni - male Posterior view of wings and metanotal gland - Oecanthus fultoni - male Tree cricket. What species - Oecanthus fultoni - female tree cricket - Oecanthus fultoni Tree Cricket - Oecanthus fultoni - female UT Oecanthus - Oecanthus fultoni - male Oecanthus fultoni - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)
Suborder Ensifera (Long-horned Orthoptera)
Infraorder Gryllidea (Crickets)
Family Gryllidae (True Crickets)
Subfamily Oecanthinae (Tree Crickets)
Genus Oecanthus (Common Tree Crickets)
No Taxon (Rileyi Group)
Species fultoni (Snowy Tree Cricket)
Other Common Names
Fulton's Tree Cricket
Grillon de Fulton (French)
Thermometer Cricket
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Charles De Geer published a description of a tree cricket in 1773 he called Gryllus niveus. Later authors assumed he was referring to this species, but Thomas J Walker showed in a 1962 article that De Geer's Gryllus niveus (since changed to Oecanthus) was really what was until then known as Oecanthus angustipennis. In the same article Walker included a description of the supposed Oecanthus niveus as Oecanthus fultoni- thus making that its official name.
References to Oecanthus niveus before 1962, therefore, mostly mean Oecanthus fultoni.
Explanation of Names
According to the original description: "It is named in honor of the late Dr. B. B. Fulton, who contributed more than any other worker to our knowledge of the biology and classification of tree crickets."
The common name "Snowy Tree Cricket" is probably translated from Oecanthus niveus, while the true Oecanthus niveus is called the "Narrow-Winged Tree Cricket", apparently from the obsolete name Oecanthus angustipennis (see Synonyms and other taxonomic changes, above).

The black antennal markings are close to being equal in size on both segments. The marking on the 2d segment is at least half the length of the entire segment -- which distinguishes it from Riley's. The orange-red area on the top of the head does not extend into the pronotum. (Can help distinguish it from Narrow-winged when the antennal markings are not visible in a photo.)

The antennae and limbs are pale. The body is green - and the wings usually give the female's body a 'marbled' appearance.

SINA maps show the only states where they are NOT found are: Florida, Mississippi and Montana. They have also been found in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
Snowy Tree Crickets can be found on a wide variety of trees, shrubs and plants -- including potted plants and gardens. They generally are not found in grasses. They have been reported to be attracted to lights.
Tend to hatch in June and mate August through October -- depending on location.
Life Cycle
Undergo a paurometabolous development (Gradual Metamorphosis). Nymphs resemble small adults and gradually develop external wing buds. They live in the same habitat as adults, typically taking the same food.
A great source for 'everything you ever wanted to know about tree crickets' is an article written in May 1915 by Bentley B. Fulton in a Technical Bulletin for the New York Agricultural Experiment Station. The Tree Crickets of New York: Life History and Bionomics (PDF format, 12 MB)

These are the crickets you hear in movies and on TV when they want to show that it's out in nature and very quiet.
See Also
Riley's Tree Cricket; Narrow-winged Tree Cricket

Snowy: The black spot on the 2d antennal segment is at least 1/2 the length of the segment and is centrally located.

Riley's: The black spot on the 2d antennal segment is less than 1/2 the length of the segment and is located nearer to the top edge of the segment.
Internet References   Singing Insects of North America   Tree Crickets - information and photos
The Taxonomy and Calling Songs of United States Tree Crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Oecanthinae): I. The Genus Neoxabea and the niveus and varicornis Groups of the Genus Oecanthus, Annals of the Entomological Society of America, v.55, n.3, pp. 303-322 (May, 1962).   Thomas J. Walker's article containing the original description of the species. (PDF format, 3.4 MB)