restless bush cricket
Hapithus agitator Uhler 1864

map
courting pair
male 1
male 2
female 1
female 2
female 3
female 3
female 3
juvenile
juvenile
juvenile
juvenile
male
mating pair
mating pair

20 s of calling song [1.71MB]; male from Dade Co., Fla.: EVNP; 25.0°C. (WTL671-8)
5 s of calling song [258KB]; same as above but truncated and down-sampled.
29 s of courtship song [2.59MB]; male from Monroe Co., Fla.: Key Largo; 27.0°C. (WTL671-2)


Sound spectrogram of 2 s of calling at 25.0°C (from WTL671-8). Dominant frequency 4.9 kHz.
Click on spectrogram to hear graphed song.


Sound spectrogram of 15 s of courtship song at 27.0°C (from WTL671-2). Dominant frequency 4.0 kHz.
Click on spectrogram to hear graphed song.

Identification:  Length 9–14 mm. Short, compact crickets. Forewings covering more than two-thirds of abdomen (male forewings sometimes partially eaten away). Stridulatory file with fewer than 45 teeth, shorter than 0.85 mm.

Habitat:  Undergrowth in moist or wet wooded areas; roadside weeds.

Season:  Aug.–Nov. (Ind.), July–Dec. (n. Fla.), Mar.–Dec. (s. Fla.).

Song at 25°C:  Where calling occurs (see below) it consists of sequences of 5 to 20 buzzy chirps at a rate of 1-2/sec. Courtship song sounds a bit like someone twirling a halloween noise maker.

Similar species:  Loud-singing bush crickets (Orocharis)--hindwings longer than forewings; length greater (15-22 mm).

Remarks:  In peninsular Florida and eastern Texas, males of the restless bush cricket produce a loud distinctive song. Elsewhere they are not known to call. Little is known of how sexual pairs are formed in populations of non-calling crickets. Since non-calling restless bush crickets live in compact colonies, the males may simply roam about until they contact a female or are alerted to her presence by chemical cues. Once a female is located the male stays with her, sometimes producing soft courtship sounds with his forewings. If the female accepts a spermatophore from him, he puts his forewings to unique use by allowing the female to feed on them while the externally attached spermatophore is emptying into the female's sperm-storage sac. During one copulation a male may sacrifice a quarter of his forewings, and males are found that have nothing but stubs remaining. Copulating females of many other crickets feed on products of the male-for example, secretions from dorsal thoracic glands in tree crickets and blood from bleeding spines on the hindtibiae in ground crickets. Only in non-calling populations of restless bush crickets is the sexually successful male prominently mutilated. The nutritive value of the male's forewings and the consequences of a non-calling male averting mutilation are uninvestigated. The reproductive results of a male allowing a female to eat his forewings surely depend in part on whether the forewings can be used to call additional mating partners. Similarly the reproductive consequences for a female inseminated by a male that allows her to eat his forewings depend in part on whether her sons behave like their father.

More information:  subfamily Eneopterinae, genus Hapithus

References:  Alexander & Otte 1967, Griffiths 1952a.

Nomenclature:  OSF (Orthoptera Species File Online)