- Adults are torpedo-shaped, 1- to 1/2-inches long, and are light brown.
- In all but the short-winged mole cricket, the front pair of wings are shorter and folded over the abdomen; the second pair of wings are membranous and extend beyond the end of the abdomen. The wings of the short-winged mole cricket are shorter than the first thoracic segment (prothorax).
- The front pair of legs are short and modified for digging in the soil and the species are most easily distinguished by their tibial dactyls (digging claws):
- Tawny mole cricket – the v-shaped space between the two dactyls is narrower than their width.
- Southern mole cricket – the u-shaped space between the two dactyls approximates their width.
- Short-winged mole cricket – there is a space between the two dactyls which split at the base.
- Northern mole cricket – for tibial dactyls.
Biology and Habits:
- Females lay batches of 25 to 60 eggs in chambers several inches to a foot beneath the soil surface.
- Typically,the first instar nymphs emerge within approximately two weeks and continue to develop throughout the summer and fall, emerging in the spring as adults.
- The most significant turf damaging species feed on the stems, leaves, and particularly grass roots as they burrow through the soil.
- Development is favored by temperatures above 70° F and high soil moisture.
- Depending on the species mole crickets overwinter in ground burrows as adults or mature nymphs.
- Adults swarm to mate in the spring and are attracted to light.
- There is one generation per year.
- Centipede, Kentucky bluegrass, St. Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia.
- Mole crickets damage turf grasses by feeding on the stems, leaves, and particularly the roots.
- Their burrowing loosens the soil around the roots, uprooting the plant or causing the roots to dry out.