Stormy Night of the Katydids

As night was falling, a rumbling thunderstorm moved in from the west. Common True Katydids were calling raucously from the oak woods in back of my house with temperatures in the low 80s. The interplay of the storm and the katydids was a delight to my ears. Featured here is a portion of that recording. Listening with headphones will put you right in … [Read more...]

The Fairy Bell Ringer

In her book, "A Sense of Wonder," Rachel Carson pens the following engrossing narrative while describing nocturnal forays in search of singing insects with her adopted son Roger: Most haunting of all is one I call the fairy bell ringer. I have never found him. I’m not sure I want to. His voice — and surely he himself — are so ethereal, so … [Read more...]

Japanese Burrowing Cricket

Folks have recently been writing and commenting after lectures about a rapid field cricket song they are hearing. Most of these reports are from urban areas and a few from suburbia. During a recent singing insect workshop in southern Ohio we caught one of these gorgeous singers in the act — a Japanese Burrowing Cricket (Velarifictorus micado). They … [Read more...]

Long-spurred Stridulations

One of my favorite things to do, in late summer and fall, is listening to the songs of insects. Getting close enough to watch a katydid actually singing can be quite exciting. This video vignette of a Long-spurred Meadow Katydid gets right in there, up close. Being able to watch him sing is a great way to learn about stridulation. In crickets … [Read more...]