Three New Species of Bush Crickets

The world of insects is vast and diverse, with new species being discovered all the time. Recently, a team of researchers led by Aarini Ghosh and Ranjana Jaiswara discovered three new species of bush crickets in India. These new species are members of the Hexacentrus cricket family, and they are unique in their ability to produce ultrasonic sounds of up to 60 kHz.

Discovery of Three New Hexacentrus Cricket Species

The researchers named the new species Hexacentrus khasiensis, which was discovered in Meghalaya, and Hexacentrus ashoka and Hexacentrus tiddae, which were discovered in Sonepat district, Haryana.

Unique Characteristics of Hexacentrus Cricket Species

The Hexacentrus cricket family is known for its unique ability to produce ultrasonic sounds up to 60 kHz, which is beyond the range of human hearing. Their calling sound is an unusual mechanical buzz that can be heard by other Hexacentrus crickets.

Bush Crickets and Their Sound Production

Bush crickets, also known as katydids, belong to the order Orthoptera. They are categorized under two groups – true crickets (ground and tree crickets) and bush crickets/katydids. Both crickets and bush crickets produce sounds via modified forewings. The role of tympana in each forelimb of crickets and bush crickets is to receive sounds, similar to the human eardrum.

Habitat and Predatory Nature of Hexacentrus Cricket Species

Hexacentrus cricket species mainly dwell on bushes, from lower to middle vertical strata. They have a predatory nature and prey upon a variety of smaller adult insects, eggs, or larvae. The significance of this discovery is that it sheds light on the unique size and sound of Hexacentrus khasiensis, which until now, has only been reported from the Khasi hills of Meghalaya.

Prey and Predators of Bush Crickets

Bush crickets, like other insects, are preyed upon by animals in their ecosystem. They are a major source of food for bats, who can find their prey not only by echolocation but also by eavesdropping upon sexual advertisement calls.




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