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Life Cycle and Description of Mole Crickets

The southern and tawny mole cricket are quite similar in appearance and biology.

 

The shortwinged mole cricket differs in appearance because of the short wings, but also in behavior because it has no calling song and the short wings render it incapable of flight. Typically, the eggs of these three species are deposited in April-May, and nymphs predominate through August. In southern Florida, however, the shortwinged mole cricket can produce eggs throughout the year.

 

Beginning in August or September some adults are found, but overwintering occurs in both the nymphal and adult stages. Maturity is attained by the overwintering nymphs in April, and eggs are produced at about this time. A single generation per year is normal, though in southern Florida there are two generations in southern mole crickets and an extra peak of adult flight in the summer, resulting in spring, summer, and autumn flights from the two generations.

 

In both southern and tawny mole crickets, adult emergence occurs earlier in southern Florida than in northern Florida.

 


Eggs: The eggs are deposited in a chamber in the soil adjacent to one of the tunnels. The chamber is constructed at a depth of 5 to 30 cm below the soil surface. It typically measures 3 to 4 cm in length, width, and height. The eggs are oval to bean-shaped, and initially measure about 3 mm in length and 1.7 mm in width.

 

The eggs increase in size as they absorb water, eventually attaining a length of about 3.9 mm and a width of 2.8 mm. The color varies from grey to brownish. The eggs are deposited in a loose cluster, often numbering 25 to 60 eggs. Duration of the egg stage is 10 to 40 days. Total fecundity is not certain, but more than 100 eggs have been obtained from a single female, and the mean number of egg clutches produced per female is 4.8

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