Are you an insect lover and find them adorable? Then do check out this article for one of the most amazing animals ever known to humans. An animal which is an insect but depicts the activity of a mole, we have the mole cricket.
These tiny animals are often considered as a pest as they cause damage to our fields and lawns.
There are over 107 species of mole cricket. Some popular species involve northern mole cricket, tawny mole cricket, and southern mole cricket. The mole cricket activity can be identified by their behavior which is helpful to understand how they communicate. Mole crickets have cute beady eyes and special front legs. Their front legs are designed like a shovel and help in digging. They are named mole cricket as they have an appearance like a mole. Like a mole, they dig the soil surface to make their burrows.
Mole Cricket is an insect that falls under the suborder of Ensifera.
What class of animal does a Mole Cricket belong to?
Being an insect, the Mole Cricket falls under the class Insecta of the Animalia kingdom.
How many Mole Crickets are there in the world?
Mole Crickets are found all over the globe except for the continent of Antarctica. There are an estimated 107 species of discovered Mole Crickets and it is assumed that more species are also likely to be discovered. There is, however, no statistical data that accounts for the number of Mole Cricket present on the globe but we can assume that since it is a very common insect and is found in abundance, its number is likely to be millions.
Where does a Mole Cricket live?
The Mole Cricket species can be usually found in underground tunnels and burrows where they stay all throughout the day. These animals can also be in grasslands, lawns, and agricultural fields. Apart from being found on all continents of the world except Antarctica, few species of the Mole Cricket damage crops and are considered pests in Asia and Australia.
What is a Mole Cricket's habitat?
Mole Crickets are nocturnal animals and thus are rarely seen on the outside. They prefer cool and shady underground burrows and can be extensively found in vast grasslands, lawns, and agricultural fields. The tunnels that they dig provides them with shelter and also provide a safe spot to escape and hide from the predators.
Who do Mole Crickets live with?
Though the adult Mole Crickets live in tunnels or burrows which they build by digging the soil surface, each lives in their own room or specific burrow. Each individual inhabits their room which also provides a safe spot when the mating takes place.
How long does a Mole Cricket live?
The lifespan of Mole Crickets is relatively small with respect to large animals however they are average with respect to small insects. A Mole cricket lives for almost a year. The death usually occurs after mating for males and the females die after laying eggs.
How do they reproduce?
Mole Cricket life cycle involves three stages. The first being the egg stage followed by the nymph stage and lastly the adult phase. Before the mating, the male Mole Cricket is attracted to the female cricket with a song. Larger males are known to attract more females. Egg-laying by the female after 1 - 2 weeks of mating is the usual norm. A total of around 25 -60 eggs are laid by the female. Once the eggs hatch, the tiny hungry nymphs devour plant matter and then they undergo complete metamorphosis and become an adult.
What is their conservation status?
Mole Crickets are very common insects and are found all over the globe. However since they are found in plenty, it is assumed that they are not Endangered. Moreover, the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN too has listed the majority of them as Data Deficient while others as Least Concern.
Mole Cricket Fun Facts
What do Mole Crickets look like?
These animals are usually tan or greyish-brown in color with their body covered with tiny hairs. The body of a mole cricket can be finely segmented into numerous parts like the head, the abdomen, and the limbs. They usually have a cylindrical body along with two pairs of wings and two antennae on their head. They also have beady eyes. They are named mole cricket as they have an appearance like a mole.
How cute are they?
Mole crickets are usually tan or greyish-brown in color and they are not very appealing. So it can be safely concluded that they are not cute.
How do they communicate?
Mole crickets are known to communicate with one another based on their songs. Mole cricket activity can be identified by their behavior. The chief purpose of the song is to attract female mole crickets for mating. The mole crickets position themselves in a special posture in the tunnel which they build by digging the soil surface, which helps in amplifying and resonating the song made by the mole cricket.
How big is a Mole Cricket?
Mole crickets are around 2 inches (5cm) approximately. In comparison to an average-sized ant, some species of mole crickets are twice the size.
How fast can Mole Crickets move?
Due to insufficient data, the exact speed of mole crickets cannot be determined. However, they are clumsy flyers but excellent diggers of the soil. These little insects are known to travel large distances, up to five miles (8km) in search of mating partners.
How much does a Mole Cricket weigh?
Due to a lack of data the exact weight of mole cricket is currently unknown. However, we can easily make an estimate of their weight in comparison to fellow insects of their family. A normal-sized cricket has a size of one or two inches and weighs roughly 0.008 oz or 0.25 gm. So we can assume that the weight of the mole cricket is likely to be similar and around this range.
What are their male and female names of the species?
There is no specific name that demarks a male and a female mole cricket. They can be just referred to as males and females.
What would you call a baby Mole Cricket?
A baby mole cricket after they hatch from eggs becomes a nymph. So the ideal way to call a baby mole cricket would be to refer to it as a nymph of mole cricket.
What do they eat?
Mole crickets are omnivorous animals and thus eat both plants and animals. However, there are a few species that eat only plants and other only animals. The diet of these little insects ranges from leaves, grass, roots, larvae, worms, and others.
Are they harmful?
No, mole crickets are not harmful at all and neither are they dangerous. They are peace-loving insects and they rarely bite anyone. And, even if they bite, there is no need to get worried as they are not poisonous at all.
Would they make a good pet?
These animals are considered as a pest as they damage crops and agricultural fields and they would ideally make very bad pets. They should usually be kept away from homes and from agricultural fields which is a feasting ground for them.
Did you know...
Mole crickets are an invasive species which means they have been taken from their native place to another land. It is believed that the mole cricket entered the United States via cargo ships that traveled from South America.
The tawny mole cricket unlike other species of mole crickets are not omnivores and only eat plants.
The southern mole cricket was introduced into the southern part of the USA around 1900.
Why are they called Mole Crickets?
Similar to their name and like a mole, the mole crickets are excellent diggers of soil and thus they reside in tunnels and burrows. They are non-venomous in nature and as a last-ditch to escape from the clutches of predators they secret a brown liquid like water from their body.
How to get rid of Mole Crickets?
These insects are incredibly attracted to lawns and grasses. The best way to get rid of any pests like these would be to remove them from the nymph stage. The ideal way to kill a mole cricket would be to mix a couple of tablespoons of washing detergent in two gallons of water and then soak this solution onto the active parts of the lawn where the mole crickets reside. These animals usually come out after coming into contact with the water and thus can be removed from the field or lawn.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including the giant African millipede and the atlas beetle.
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