Jerusalem cricket

The Jerusalem crickets (genus Stenopelmatus; Orthoptera Stenopelmatidae) of California are poorly known taxonomically, and have remained virtually unstudied. Until recently, the group was thought to be represented by only 7 species, due to high phenotypic similarity. However, ongoing behavioral research by Dr. David Weissman (California Academy of Sciences) has uncovered many populations with unique mating songs. Based on his work, Weissman estimates that there may be as many as 30 to 50 “song species” throughout California, suggesting that Stenopelmatus has in fact undergone an extensive species radiation. One such song species (Stenopelmatus n. sp. “mahogany”) is found exclusively in Southern California on sandy soil substrates (oak woodland, riparian, chaparral and coastal sage scrub), ranging north to the Santa Monica Mountains, east to the San Gabriel, San Bernadino and San Jacinto Mountains and south to Torrey Pines State Park. The mahogany Jerusalem is physically quite distinct; it is the second largest insect species known in California, and lacks the abdominal striping pattern found in all other Stenopelmatus species.

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Ai Shan 19 Aug 2008

Very beautiful and interesting shot!

craig moline 08 Jul 2008

Wonderful close up Mary Lou. And thanks for all the info.

Christine brand 02 Jul 2008

EXCELLENT INFO AND COOL BUG, YOU KNOW INSECTS ARE SO INTERSTING, I LOVE THEM...WONDERFUL SHOT MAR!!!

Artist Reply: Jennifer, Bonnie and I found this guy in the Backyard at their house~ We were all freaked out by the way it looked~and curious about what it was~So we looked it up on the net~ Thanks for Looking at it~ Love Ya~Sister Mary

annette steens 01 Jul 2008

very close, so interesting writing too!

MJ Mitchell 30 Jun 2008

How very interesting - thank you for all the info!!!! Fascinating little guy - wonderful closeup!