Mormon Cricket, Anabrus simplex Haldeman (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)
Despite its common name, the Mormon cricket is not a cricket, but a katydid. Part of its common name is likely derived from its appearance, which (at high densities) is blackish and nearly wingless, giving it the appearance of a field cricket. The other portion of its common name has its origin in the early history of Utah. Destruction of crickets in 1848 by California gulls, Larus californicus, saved the early Mormon settler’s grain crops; a fact commemorated by a large statue in Salt Lake City.
Mormon cricket is native to western North America. Mormon cricket occurs widely, with a range that includes southern British Columbia to Manitoba in the north, and south to northern California and northern New Mexico. As a persistent pest, however, its range is limited to the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin regions.
Mormon cricket and coulee cricket are often considered to be omnivorous, but despite their wide host range they display some specific preferences until...
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