Counting Crickets

Friday, September 04, 2009

Crickets are an important part of the urban ecosystem, but little is known about their presence in and around New York. Sam Droege, biologist at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, and Lou Sorkin, entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History, explain the upcoming NYC Cricket Crawl and how you can volunteer as a citizen scientist.

Have you heard a cricket or a katydid in the city? Tell us where.


Sam Droege and Lou Sorkin

Comments [18]

Lou Sorkin from NY

The picture used on top of this story is a camel cricket (Rhaphidophoridae) and actually is a species not able to chirp. Should use one of the katydid or cricket species that the Cricket Crawl was looking for.

Sep. 15 2009 01:21 AM
MAry Anne from City Island, Bronx

Is it too late to register cricket soundings?

Sep. 14 2009 06:52 PM
Matt Buffington from Washington, DC

Thanks, Lou, for sorting the Orthoptera from the Hemiptera. Good clades make good neighbors.

This is going to be so much fun and so interesting. Look forward to meeting up with you sometime during The Crawl!

Sep. 07 2009 07:57 PM
Lou Sorkin from NYC

The easiest ways to differentiate the two:
Cicadas are members of the insect order Hemiptera, those insects with specialized mouthparts formed into a beak and used to suck fluids.
Katydids, crickets, grasshoppers are members of the insect order Orthoptera and have chewing mouthparts.
The Orthoptera have hind legs modified for jumping, their hind leg femur is thickened to house large muscles.
Hemipteran legs are basically the same, a definite modification is seen, however, in the immature cicada (nymph) where the front legs are modified for digging.

Sep. 04 2009 01:30 PM
David Troy from Flatbush, Brooklyn

The Cicadas in the trees here seem to be the Common True Katydid, though slightly different sounding to those on; but they are the closest of those listed.

Sep. 04 2009 11:24 AM
Matt from Williamsburg

For the last two summers (late August), I've heard Katydids around the south side of Williamsburg, Brooklyn -- even managed to snap a picture of a large one that landed on my balcony last year.

Sep. 04 2009 11:11 AM
David Troy from Brooklyn, New York

When this topic was being covered today, Sept 4 on WNYC, I was surprised to hear that the guest thought it unusual to hear Cicadas in Greenwich Village. Over the years, I have heard Cicadas all over Manhattan; including in solitary trees in Soho; sometimes just one Cicada in a tree. It is lovely to hear. Here in Flatbush, there are quite a few, as I type, in the trees of Flatbush Gardens.

Sep. 04 2009 11:06 AM
Shane from NYC

In Manhattan - In Morningside Gardens @ 501 West 123rd Street the garden side of the building has many katydids. My friend lives on the first floor and the chorus from her garden window an unbelievable delight in the evening!

Sep. 04 2009 11:04 AM
Marc Dennis from Brooklyn

INSECTS ARE FOOD is an organization that promotes
entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) as a healthy, safe and sustainable food source.
Crickets are one of the more popular edible species. Katydids and cicadas as well. Their songs are for some people, the sounds of recipes. The crawl "sounds" interesting. ;) The song sung by Jiminy at the end of the piece by the way was a bit creepy though I'm not sure why.

Sep. 04 2009 11:02 AM
Frank G from Harlem

This last Sunday, heard cricket chirp coming from lot on corner of Spring St and Washington St.

Sep. 04 2009 11:02 AM
CG from Queens NY

When I first moved to Kew Gardens, Queens in 1995 I never heard katydids in Maple Grove Cemetery, which my apartment faces. However, over the past few summers, they seem to be building up a little katydid community, it's great! Lots of other crickets out there at night, too.

Sep. 04 2009 11:01 AM
Mary Arnold from NYC, Queens

I hear crickets singing in this area of Queens -- Otto Road & 69th St. Glendale 11385 at the intersection of a RR yard, the impervious developed neighborhood, and a cemetery.

Sep. 04 2009 11:00 AM
Carla from Queens

My cat has never found your show more interesting! She's captivated by this segment.

Sep. 04 2009 10:59 AM
Anne from Merrick

Well, we definitely have the oblong winged katydid here in Merrick. When you played the clip, I thought "Gee, why are they playing dead air? Oh, that's the same crickets I'm hearing outside my window."

Sep. 04 2009 10:58 AM
andrea from kew gardens

Everyday and night in the late summer and early fall outside my window which borders on Forest Park in Kew Gardens.

Sep. 04 2009 10:57 AM
Catherine Torpey from Rockville Centre

1. Is a katydid a cicada?

2. One of your chirps was just silence on the air.

Sep. 04 2009 10:56 AM
Eric from NYC

The iPhone has an app called "iTalk" which might be a good tool to use. Its a pretty good recorder.

Sep. 04 2009 10:55 AM

Just back from several weeks on a ranch out west, which was overrun with epic numbers of crickets aka grasshoppers. They seem to be most abundant right before a big fire, actually...I'll assume there is no link between forest fires and the way crickets make that noise...

Sep. 04 2009 10:47 AM

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