Thursday, 10 March 2011

A Nice cricket

Adult male of the New Guinea Rainforest Cricket, Cardiodactylus novaeguineae (Haan).

The New Guinea Rainforest Cricket, Cardiodactylus novaeguineae (Haan) occurs at coastal localities on the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland as well as several coastal islands such as Dunk Island and Green Island, off Cairns. The name is a misnomer; the species is not known from New Guinea. However, other related species occur there.

The Orthoptera Species File lists 50 species in the genus from northern Australia through the islands of the south Pacific. Only a single species has been recorded from Australia.

Nymphs of the New Guinea Rainforest Cricket are distinctive with their reddish heads and lateral stripes and developing wings. There are no other crickets like them in the rainforest.

This cricket is common when it is encountered. They have a "patchy" distribution. This means that within their geographic range they are found some places and not others. I have not found it on our block here in Kuranda, but it is common at the Caravan Park only a few kilometers distant.
Adult male.

This is a large cricket, males measuring approximately 28 mm. It is found close to, but usually not on the ground. It prefers low shrubbery and tree trunks along rainforest margins and in mangroves. It would seem to be a sitting duck for marauding Cane Toads, Bufo marinus, but they do not seem to make a dent in the cricket population numbers even though the female crickets oviposit in the ground.
The Calling Song of males of the New Guinea Rainforest Cricket is very distinctive and easily recognised. Males sing after dark on warm nights.

More information on this and other Australian crickets can be found in Otte and Alexander (1983).


Otte, D. and Alexander, R. D. 1983. The Australian Crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Monograph 22, Pp. 1-477.


Piotr Naskrecki said...

This is a very nice genus of crickets. I remember seeing them (or a very similar eneopterine) in the Solomons and PNG. There was one particularly large species on New Britain. I sent all my specimens to Dan, hopefully he will do something with them. said...
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Tony.R said...

This is indeed a nice genus with very exciting songs. The species novaeguineae is in fact really present in PNG (and in the Solomons, Vanuatu, Fiji etc.). I have collected many information on them for the redescription of the species in 2009. Thanks again for the Australian sample Dave, and for this nice presentation and pictures ;-)

Mr. Smiley said...

Thanks guys.

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