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Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa Latreille
Insecta, Orthoptera, Gryllotalpidae .

Mole cricket

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images

- This usually underground-living insect measures 35-45 milimeter in length. Cylindrical stout body, brownish, of velvet complexion. Head with strong masticatory mouth-parts and short antennae, partially covered by the prothorax.
- Fore legs short and large able to excavate tunnels in the soil. Hindwings large and transparent covered by short hyaline elytra. A pair of long cerci at the distal part of the abdomen (*) (*) .

- Mole crickets hibernate as adults or 3rd-instar nymphs, deep in the soil, from a few centimeters to 1 metre. Hibernating forms become active in the spring and form tunnels some close to the soil surface, others at considerable depths. Oviposition and breeding chambers are also built, from which the summer generation originates.
- Mole crickets sometimes wander above ground or fly in relatively large swarms, especially in warm summer nights.

[R]Life Cycle
Females excavate a nest chamber at a depth of 30-40 cm. In each chamber - with a diameter of 6-10 cm - 200 to 300 eggs are laid. They hatch 20 days later. Nymphs pass through two moults. In October they excavate their own tunnels and hibernate.

Mole crickets feed on earthworms(Lumbricidae), soil-inhabiting insect larvae and roots of garden and kitchen-garden plants, as well as those of grasses (*) , potatoes, etc. Mole crickets prefer light, fresh soils with high organic matter content where food is available and tunnels can be excavated easily.
Occasionally, mole crickets wander above ground causing then extensive damage in plant beds.

[R]Common Names
DE: Maulwurfsgrille, Werre ES: Alacrán cebollero, Grillotopo FR: Courtilière, Taupe-grillon IT: Grillotalpa PT: Ralo GB: Mole criket

[R] Images

  1. Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (Latreille) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Adult emerging from subterranean gallery
  2. Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (Latreille) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  3. Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (Latreille) (INRA)
    Damage on maize

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