Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Gryllidae Members: NC Records

Orocharis saltator Uhler, 1864 - Jumping Bush Cricket



Male

Female at bait
Taxonomy
Family: Gryllidae Subfamily: Hapithinae Tribe: Hapithini                                                                                 
Comments: One of five species in this primarily neotropical genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Walker, 1969). Only two occur in North Carolina; the other three are restricted to Florida
Species Status: The Orthoptera Species File (Cigliano et al., 2017) is now treating Orocharis as a subgenus of Hapithus. SINA, however, continues to use Orocharis as a full genus, which is how we are treating it (we have not yet read the paper that is the basis for this taxonomic change).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Capinera et al. (2004); Eliott and Hershberger (2006); Himmelman (2009)Online Photographs: SINA, Songs of Insects, BugGuideTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Walker (1969)SINA 686a.htm                                                                                  
Comments: The two species of Orocharis in our area are morphologically indistinguishable (Walker, 1969). Both are medium sized, brown bush crickets with long, oval-shaped tegmina that beyond the end of the abdomen. The ground color of both sexes is pale tan. Females are nearly uniformly colored except for a dark post-ocular stripe that continues along the side of the pronotum; a mid-dorsal stripe may also be present on the pronotum. Males have scattered dark spots and speckles on the tegmina.
Total Length [body plus wings; excludes ovipositor]: 14-16 mm, males and females (Blatchely, 1920)Forewing Length: 11-14 mm, males; 13-14.5 mm, females (Blatchley, 1920)
Structural Features: Hindwings are found in both sexes and extend slightly beyond the ends of the tegmina (Blatchley, 1920)
Singing Behavior: The songs both of our species of Orocharis consist of brief, fairly melodic trills (chirps) separated by pauses that are between 4-10 times longer than the chirps themselves. The chirps of luteolira are shorter than in saltator, with luteolira having between 4-9 pulses per chirp and saltator between 10-18 pulses per chirp (Walker, 1969). Walker also notes that the within-trill pulse rate is higher in luteolira -- 71 pulses per second versus 55 per second at 77 F (25 C). Correlated with this higher pulse rate, the dominant pitch of the songs of luteolira are higher than in saltator. In records of the two species singing at the same site, spectrographs show a clear tonal separation between the calls of the two species, with the dominant pitch of luteolira around 4.5 kHz and that of saltator around 4 kHz at 63 F (17 C). These spectrographs also suggest that the pauses between chirps are typically much longer in luteolira than they are in saltator.

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Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: In areas where the two species of Orocharis are sympatric, Walker (1969) noted that saltator appeared to be more common in mesic or hydric woodlands and luteolira in drier, more open and well-drained habitats (e.g., sandhills). However, we have recorded both species from a yard in Raleigh, singing from ornamental shrubs and trees growing near the top of a ridgeline. We have also heard both species singing in a swamp forest in New Hanover County and from a yard in Beaufort, both within a half mile of the coast. At one site in Durham, however, Orocharis saltator were concentrated in a strip of mesic vegetation along a small trib, whereas luteolira was clustered in dry oak-hickory forest on the top of the slope.
Diet: Polyphagous feeder on vegetation. Himmelman (2009) states that saltator feeds primarily on foliage, flowers, and fruits
Observation Methods: Males are easily heard but hard to see. Both sexes come to bait at night.
Abundance/Frequency: In the eastern Piedmont and Coastal Plain, this is one of the most frequently heard crickets, occurring in both natural habitats and residential neighborhoods
Adult Phenology: Adults appear from late summer and persist fairly late in the fall
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: Widespread within the state and associated with a wide range of wooded habitats, including residential neighborhoods. This species appears to be quite secure within the state.

Photo Gallery for Orocharis saltator - Jumping Bush Cricket

Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Heard singing up on a north-facing slope with the temperature about 66 F (18.9 C). Individual calls included both longer and shorter chirps and included a range of different frequencies. None, however, matched the patterns typical of O. luteolira, which were recorded in Durham County on the same date
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Examples of shorter, higher-pitched chirps. The pulse rate in these examples is 10-11 pulse per chirp and a within-chirp rate of 36.7 pulses per sec.
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Chatham Co.
Comment: A large number were heard singing in a riparian strip along the Haw River; 66 F (19 C). The pulse rate was 17 pulses per chirp and the within-chirp pulse rate was 34 pulses per sec.
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Singing from an ornamental Chamaecyparis in front of a store at 17:59, with the temperature about 58 F (14 C). The call seemed short for a saltator, but the number of pulses per trill is 10, and the within-chirp rate of 37 pulses per sec., which is more consistent with saltator than luteolira at that temperature.
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Dee Stuckey
Durham Co.
Comment: Recorded without an external mic
Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Temperature at 16:45 was 79 F (= 26 C)
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Carteret Co.
Comment: Recorded in trees outside a house. Temperature was ~ 63 F at 7:45 pm. Pulse rate was 10 pulses per trill (= 33/sec within trill).
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Temperature at 14:22 was about 72 F (22.2 C). The pulse rate was 12 pulses per chirp, with the within-chirp rate about 50 pulses per sec.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Female feeding on beer/banana bait
Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis
Camden Co.
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