The Porto Rican mole cricket. Page: 1
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THE PORTO RICAN MOLE CRICKET
By W. A. THOMAS, Assistant Entomologist, Division of Truck-Crop Insects,
Bureau of Entomology
Many kinds of crops damaged___--- 1 Habits of the mole cricket--_----- 4 4
Description of the mole cricket-_____ 1 Keeping down mole crickets with
How the mole cricket injures the crop- 2 poisoned bait ----------- 6
Seasonal activity of the mole cricket- 2 The bait and how to mix it_--- 6
Where the mole cricket came from How and where to use the bait_ 7
and where it now occurs .------ 3 Quantity of bait per acre, and
Life of the mole cricket-------- 3 cost--- ----------7
MANY KINDS OF CROPS DAMAGED
TRUCK CROPS, especially in the seedling stage, in the coastal
area from the southern border of Georgia to Wilmington, N. C.,
are subject to injury by the Porto Rican mole cricket,1 known also in
some sections as the changa or " ground puppy." Injury by the mole
cricket, however, is not confined to truck crops; tobacco, peanuts,
grasses, and chufas may also be damaged. Since the insect lives and
thrives in moist, light soil, the lands devoted to truck crops in the
infested area offer very favorable conditions for this pest.
DESCRIPTION OF THE MOLE CRICKET
Although the Porto Rican mole cricket belongs to the same family
of insects as do the common hearth cricket and the field crickets, it
does not to any great extent resemble other members of its family.
The mature mole cricket ranges in length from 11/4 to 11/2 inches,
and is about one-fourth inch in width. In color it is light brown,
the lower surface being much lighter than the upper, and slightly
tinged with green. It is covered with fine hairs which give it a
velvety appearance. The hind, or body, parts of the insect are soft,
but the head and midsection bear a hard covering which protects it
in its movement through the soil. The head carries a pair of threadlike
antennae, or feelers.
The insect's most striking features are the rather large, beady eyes,
and short, stout front legs, which bear shovellike feet well fitted for
digging. The middle and hind legs are somewhat longer, especially
the latter, and comparatively slender.
The mature crickets have two pairs of wings, which when at rest
are folded along the back. The tips of the hind wings are curved
1 Scapteriscus vioinws Latr.; order Orthoptera, family Gryllidae, subfamily Gryllotalpinae.
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Thomas, W. A. (William Andrew), 1883-. The Porto Rican mole cricket., book, April 1928; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5902/m1/3/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.