Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Gryllidae Members: NC Records

Neonemobius cubensis (Saussure, 1874) - Cuban Ground Cricket

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Family: Gryllidae Subfamily: Nemobiinae Tribe: Pteronemobiini                                                                                 
Comments: One of six species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Cigliano et al., 2017), three of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Species Status: The type specimen is from Cuba but this is a widespread species, occurring in eastern North America, the Caribbean, and eastern Meso-America (Cigliano et al., 2017)
Field Guide Descriptions: Himmelman (2009)Online Photographs: SINA, BugGuide, Songs of InsectsTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Hebard (1913); Johnstone and Vickery (1970)SINA 537a.htm                                                                                  
Comments: Cubensis is a small, brownish-black ground cricket that is similar in general appearance and color to palustris but is not as solid in coloration, possessing patches of pale grayish-buff markings (Hebard, 1813; Johnstone and Vickery, 1970). The tegmina typically have a pale line that separates the dorsal and lateral fields.
Total Length [body plus wings; excludes ovipositor]: 5.7-6.6 mm, brachypterous males (Florida specimens); 5.6-7.0 mm, brachypterous females (Hebard, 1913)
Structural Features: Members of Neonemobius are distinguished by their small size -- males are less than 9 mm in body length. Females also possess short, upwardly curved ovipositors, less than or equal to 2/3 the length of the hind femur, and that have fine teeth only on the dorsal side of the tip (SINA, 2017). Both macropterous and brachypterous forms have been recorded in this species (Hebard, 1913)
Singing Behavior: Fulton (1931) describes the song of cubensis as a very high pitched, thin whistle. Each trill lasts from 8 to 15 seconds, occasionally up to 30, with similar length pauses between trills. Each trill starts soft and builds in amplitude, ending abruptly. According to SINA, the pulse rate ranges from 38 pulses per second at around 65 F up to 60 at temperatures above 80 F. The pitch of songs recorded in the Macaulay Library range from 6.9 to over 9.5 kHz. Allonemobius griseus has a similarly high pitched trill that also increases in amplitude. However, it has a slower pulse rate of only 30-40 pulses per second. The habitats of the two species also differ, with cubensis preferring marshes or other wet grassy areas and griseus preferring very dry upland fields.

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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)

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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Fulton (1931) states that cubensis is largely a marsh species, found at the edges of both freshwater and brackish marshes; also found along streams and other moist places with dense herbaceous cover
Diet: Probably omnivorous
Observation Methods: Most easily detected by its song
Adult Phenology: In the vicinity of Raleigh, Fulton (1951) observed adults appearing by July 1 and persisting until the end of October
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR S4S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: This species appears to be widespread and occupies fairly common habitat types. It therefore seems to be secure within the state.

Photo Gallery for Neonemobius cubensis - Cuban Ground Cricket

Recorded by: Steve Hall and Dee Stuckey
Orange Co.
Comment: 19:50, ~79 F. 60 pulses/sec. Recorded from thick grass cover
Recorded by: Steve Hall, Bo Sullivan, and Arno Schadt
New Hanover Co.
Comment: Several individuals calling from the edge of a marsh along the Cape Fear River. Note the increasing amplitude and abrupt end of the trills. Pulse rate = 60 pulses per second at roughly 75 degrees F.
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Recorded while video-taping an Orchelimum pulchellum; in second-growth levee forest next to drainage canal. ~60 pulses/sec at about 85 F. 15:20. Recorded late in the year for this species, when both E. variegatus and palustrus are more numerous. However, the high pulse rate and habitat are more consistent with cubensis than the other two.