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Family Tridactylidae - Pygmy Mole 'Crickets'

Nymph ? - Neotridactylus apicialis Very young Orthoptera; I think... - Neotridactylus apicialis Larger Pygmy Mole Grasshopper  - Neotridactylus apicialis Ellipes gurneyi - Ellipes Ellipes eisneri Ellipes eisneri Neotridactylus archboldi Mole Cricket - Neotridactylus apicialis
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)
Suborder Caelifera (Grasshoppers)
Family Tridactylidae (Pygmy Mole 'Crickets')
Other Common Names
Pygmy Sand Crickets
Sand Crickets
Pygmy Mole Grasshopper
Two North American genera and seven species:
    Neotridactylus - one sp. widespread (apicialis), another sp. restricted to FL (archboldi)
    Ellipes - one sp. widespread (minuta), another sp. restricted to FL (eisneri); three more spp. in the West (californicus, gurneyi, monticolus)
Less than 10 mm
Small orthopterans, rather flattened, so resemble crickets, though more closely-related to grasshoppers. Usually living near bodies of water, they are able to swim well. Characteristics:
hind femora enlarged (used for jumping), flattened (apparently for use in swimming)
front and middle tarsi with two segments, rear with three (tarsal formula 2-2-3)
Typically sandy margins of ponds, ditches, streams. The FL endemic species are found in upland sandy ridges.
See Also
Superficially similar but unrelated Gryllotalpidae - Mole Crickets, suborder Ensifera
Print References
Burrows, M. & Picker, M. D. (2010). Jumping mechanisms and performance of pygmy mole crickets (Orthoptera, Tridactylidae). Journal of Experimental Biology, 213: 2386-2398 (Full Text)
G√ľnther, Kurt K. A New Pygmy Mole Grasshopper from California and Baja California, Mexico (Orthoptera: Tridactylidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist. Vol.61(2), 1985, pp.139-145. (Full Text)
Bland, How to Know the Insects, pp. 92-93 (1)
Capinera, Field Guide to Grasshoppers, p. 152, plate 33 (2)
Castner, Photographic Atlas of Entomology, p. 64 (3)
Internet References
Tridactylidae of the Southeastern United States from Mississippi State U. (navigate site using pane at center-left of page)
Deyrup, 2005 in Florida Entomologist
High-speed videos a South African species jumping
Family Tridactylidae from "" web site.
Works Cited
1.How to Know the Insects
Roger G. Bland, H.E. Jaques. 1978. WCB/McGraw-Hill.
2.Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United States
John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker. 2004. Cornell University Press.
3.Photographic Atlas of Entomology and Guide To Insect Identification
James L. Castner. 2000. Feline Press.