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.
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.