Mole Cricket - Biology

Biology

Most species of mole crickets can fly powerfully, if not with agility or frequency. Usually they fly only when moving long distances, such as when changing territory. The adults of some species of mole cricket may fly as far as 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) during the mating season. Mole crickets are active most of the year, but spend the winter in hibernation. Younger insects can have shorter wings, and their appearance varies by species, with some resembling grasshoppers or very large ants or dark-colored "termites" when wings are short.

Mole crickets are omnivores, feeding on larvae, worms, roots, and grasses. Common predators of mole crickets include birds, rats, skunks, armadillos, raccoons, foxes and blue ants.

Mole crickets are relatively common, but because they are nocturnal and spend nearly all their lives underground in extensive tunnel systems, they are rarely seen. Mole crickets amplify their song by chirping in a burrow that they've carefully sculpted into the shape of a double exponential horn, which acts as a megaphone. They inhabit agricultural fields, lawns and golf courses. They are present in every continent with the exception of Antarctica, and are commonly considered pests. In East Asia, however, they are sometimes used as food (fried).

In some places, mole cricket numbers are declining due to soil erosion and habitat destruction.

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