Source: bugguide.net Photographer: Stan Gilliam
Velarifictorus micado are yellowish brown with seven or less pale longitudinal stripes extending from the head to the front margin of the pronotum. The lateral ocelli (eyes) are connected by a pale transverse band, the pronotal disk has pale spots and the palpi (mouth appendages) are white.
The Japanese burrowing cricket has shown its ability to spread quickly throughout the many states. While doing so, it has also taken over niches previously inhabited by native crickets.
Crickets undergo several molts before they become adults; the molting stages are called instars and these crickets go through four instars. The eggs overwinter, which has allowed breeding populations to establish in the northern areas.
This cricket was originally discovered in Mobile, Alabama 1959 and it spread to DC and six states by 1977. How it arrived is uncertain but it is thought to have hitched a ride along ornamental plants or other items being imported from Japan.
Native Origin: Japan
U.S. Habitat: Since crickets are omnivorous they thrive in grassy areas with high insect diversity. In Asia, this insect prefers grassy fields that are wet and wooded or partially wooded. In America, these insects have spread into the Great Plains showing they may be adapting to drier climates. However, scientist still suspect that they might not be able to expand farther west due to the drier climates.
U.S. Present: AL, AR, DE, DC, FL, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX and VA.
TX: Found in Dallas, Harris and Parker Counties, as early as 2008.
Velarifictorus micado resembles the native Eastern Striped cricket (Miogryllus verticalis) but has a more rounded head and shorter lower face.
A very effective way of preventing crickets is to remove and reduce areas of moisture around your home. This can be done by mowing the lawn, weeding plant beds and moving woodpiles away from the structure. Provide adequate ventilation in crawl spaces, basements, etc. It can also be treated with general pesticides recommended for common cricket species. Pesticide soap called Safers and insect dust containing diatomaceous earth and boric acid have been found effective at treating several species of crickets.
Alexander RD, Walker TJ (1962) Two introduced field crickets new to eastern United States (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 55: 90–94.
Bowles DE, Bowles BD (2017) Non-native species of the major spring systems of Texas, U.S.A. Texas Journal of Science 67: 51–78.
Bowles, DE (2018) Introduced Japanese burrowing cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Velarifictorus (Velarifictorus) micado range continues to expand in North America. Journal of Orthoptera Research 27(2): 177-181.
Peck SB, Walker TJ, Capinera JL (1992) Distributional review of the Orthoptera of Florida. Florida Entomologist 75: 329–342.
Walker TJ (1977) Japanese burrowing cricket widely established in southeastern United States. Florida Entomologist 60: 308–309.