lychee bush cricket
Xenogryllus unipartitus (Karney 1915)


20 s of calling song; male from Dade Co., Fla.: Homestead; 25.0°C. (WTL679-2)

 Click on sound bar to hear graphed song.
Sound spectrogram of 2 s of calling at 25.0°C (from WTL679-2). Dominant frequency 4.5 kHz.

Range:  Xenogryllus is an Old World genus with five species known from localities from Africa and Bangladesh to Taiwan and Japan. One species has recently become established in southern Florida. Its specific identity is under study by Jeng-Tze Yang, National Chung Hsing Univeristy, Taiwan.

Identification:  Length 16-20 mm. Antennal flagellum black. Anterior tympanum well developed but only partially visible through narrow slit; posterior tympanum well defined and exposed. Lateral ocelli flat, lacking lenses, twice diameter of median ocellus, which has a lens and looks forward; lateral ocellar diameter less than distance between lateral and median ocellus. Male forewings conspicuously wider near tips; greatest width of right forewing more than 30% greater than width at file. Ovipositor <6 mm; shaft more than twice as wide as deep.

Habitat:  On foliage within 6 ft. of the ground, especially on lychee.

Season:  Perhaps year-round (records of adults are Aug. and Oct.–Nov.).

Song at 25°C:  Sequences of buzzy chirps sometimes delivered at a regular rate of 2-3/s. Chirps have 25–35 pulses at 200 p/s.

Similar species:  None.

Remarks:  This species was detected in 1993 because it was severely damaging young lychee trees near Homestead, Florida, by laying eggs in the small branches. It may have arrived as eggs in nursery stock imported to replant groves destroyed by hurricane Andrew. In August 1994, a nighttime, song-based census revealed that it occupied a 20 sq mi area that included Naranja and Aladdin City.

More information:  subfamily Eneopterinae