Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


Mole cricket - Neoscapteriscus vicinus - female

Mole cricket - Neoscapteriscus vicinus - Female
St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA
April 1, 2008
Size: 5 cm
Any way to narrow it down from this picture? I found it in my backyard in the middle of the hot noon sun (although my dog may have dug it up).

Images of this individual: tag all
Mole cricket - Neoscapteriscus vicinus - female Mole cricket - Neoscapteriscus vicinus - female


Scapteriscus didactylus (Latreille, 1804) ♀
This is Scapteriscus didactylus (Latreille, 1804) ♀. The colour pattern on the pronotum is very distinctive and the tegminal venation indicates that this is a female. Compare with the other photo in the guide here which shows the colour pattern really nicely.

Would like to re-address this
I can't find any published record that Scapteriscus didactylus is found in the continental US. To me these photos look like likely S. vicinus; however, I'm not personally familiar with these insects, and am not totally confident of this.

I do suspect that this species name should be removed from BugGuide, and these photos moved. And/or, I would like to learn more about where documentation of S. didactylus being found in the continental US can be found.

Google found this
There may be others. Note it doesn't mention Scapteriscus didactylus but only refers to Changa.

"The changa is rather closely related to our common field crickets, although in appearance it is quite different. It is known to be present in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, and is believed to be spreading to other states nearby."

"Changa" is also the name most often used by locals in the Southeast for S. vicinus (or at least it used to be, not that long ago), and was the vernacular name of choice in a number of publications pre-1950 (before the "Tawny" name caught on - not even sure when that one first appeared). So, without the Latin name being mentioned, I have to assume that they are talking about the common well-established species, or are confusing the two (they are very similar looking). This, 1984 paper is the most complete one I've found on the subject, but that was 25 years ago, and a lot could have been found since then.

Well thanks to you and Karl b
Well thanks to you and Karl both! I really appreciate the expertise.

Given the locality, you amy want to compare to the Changa Mole Cricket Scapteriscus didactylus. Changa are recent invasive species in Florida.

I just don't know which it co
I just don't know which it could be. I looked at the tawny, southern and changa...I just can't see much difference in them with my untrained eyes. I know it said on the University of Florida info page that the southern and changa mole crickets usually "play dead" when you pick them up and the tawny does NOT. This one scurried around in my hand. I don't know if that is useless info or not.
I added another image that may be more helpful.

Did this specimen have a group of four spots on the Thorax? It doesn't look to have any in the pic but its best to check. If not then that would eliminate the southern Mole Cricket.

Tawny I think
With the second image I linked I think the pattern looks like a Tawny. What do you think? THanks for all the input btw!

no problem
It was my pleasure. As stated before its best to wait and see if anyone else chimes in.

Southern mole cricket (Scapteriscus borellii) would be my own guess.
There are seven species of mole crickets in North America and I can only know two of them via book ("The Songs of Insects", by Lang Elliott and Wil Hershberger).

I have never seen a live mole cricket before! I'm impressed!

Not an ID but perhaps...
Disregard this... I have edited this because I didn't notice that you had already concluded that this is a mole cricket.

Outside of that generalization, I can't offer much more...


Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.