These side-by-side Narrow-winged tree crickets are male and female. The male is on the left. Note his paddle-shaped wings which lay flat atop his body. The wings of the female wrap around the sides of her body. In addition, the females have an ovipositor at the distal end of their abdomen. They use this long tube-like structure to drill into branches and woody stems to lay their eggs. In most species, the coloring of the two sexes match. This is not the case with Two-spotted tree crickets - males and females look distinctly different. This is often true as well for Black-horned tree crickets -- they come in such a wide variety of colors, that the male and female of any given pair may look quite different.
The male Two-spotted tree cricket has a reddish-brown head and pronotum, while his wings are a pale creamy pink color. The female, is distinctly different in appearance.
While the female also has a reddish-brown head and pronotum, the markings on her body are distinctly different from those of the male. There are two large dark patches connected by a dark colored bridge.
Black-horned tree crickets (O. nigricornis) can be green, black, or a combination of these colors. In this photo, the male has a striking black head, pronotum, body and limbs. His wings are light green. The yellowish color of this female is a sign of old age. The antennae and limbs of this species may be black or they may be green.
This Forbes' tree cricket has green legs and and a green body. His head and pronotum were also mainly green - although he did have a patch of black on his head and pronotum. What helps make an ID of his species is that dark black antennae visible on his right side.
This is a female Forbes' tree cricket. Note her overall green color, but she too has dark antennae. Forbes' tree crickets are difficult to tell apart from Black-horned. At times the only way to make a definite ID is by the antennal markings or by the pulse rate of the male's song.
This is a male Forbes' tree cricket. Note the yellowish head and the dark stripe on the top of the head into the pronotum. This is commonly seen on O. forbesi males -- while the females usually have yellowish heads with no stripe.
This is a male Fast-calling tree cricket. It is very similar in appearance to the Four-spotted tree cricket. (See below for differences in the antennal markings.) It has an overall green color.
This is a male Four-spotted tree cricket. Note the overall whitish-green color and pale limbs and antennae. They usually have yellowish eyes.
This is a male Pine tree cricket. Note how the rusty head, pronotum and limbs match the bark of conifer trees.
This is a male Snowy tree cricket. Note the wide distal ends of the wings. This species is very pale green with translucent limbs. The orange on the head does not extend into the pronotum.
This is an Alexander's tree cricket. Note the very wide distal wings and translucent limbs. It is very similar in appearance to Snowy tree cricket.
This is a Different-horned tree cricket. Note the bright red on the head. They often have pink or purple tint to the head as well. The antennae are dark.
Oecanthus texensis - Texas tree cricket, is similar in appearance to Western tree cricket.
This is the pale green form of Western tree cricket.
This is a brown form of Western tree cricket. This species also comes in a green form. Note the overall tan color and rusty area on the top of the head and at the base of the antennae.
This is a male O. walkeri (Walker's tree cricket) which was newly discovered in extreme south Texas, and was described in the May 2012 edition of the Journal of Orthoptera Research. Note the bright white at the base of the antennae, the narrow wings and yellow eyes.
ANTENNAL MARKINGS One feature which is same on both males and females is the antennal markings found on the first and second antennal segments. Each species has different markings. Sometimes there are very slight variations within one species; sometimes the markings are so similar between species it is difficult to identify them by these markings alone. The photos below show the markings for different species.
This is a Black-horned tree cricket. The first antennal segment, the scape, and the second segment, the pedicel, are the only segments that have these special marks. There are different degrees of the amount of black seen on the scape, and the 2d segment either has 2 vertical lines or this 'V' formation.
The antennal markings of the Fast-calling tree cricket (O. celerinictus) are very similar to those on the Black-horned tree cricket.
The markings on the antennae of the Forbes' tree cricket (O. forbesi) are also very similar to those of the Black-horned tree cricket.Generally only the pulse rate of a calling male can distinguish whether it is that of a male O. nigricornis versus O. forbesi.
These are antennal markings of the Four-spotted tree crickets (O. quadripunctatus). This individual does have 'spots' on the top outer portion of the 1st antennal segment -- but at times they are more dash-like and thus very similar to O. nigricornis or O. forbesi.
The Pine tree cricket (O. pini) has antennal markings similar to: Black-horned, Four-spotted, Forbes', and Fast-calling. These species are all part of the nigricornis group. The Pine tree cricket, however, has distinct coloring to set him apart from other species. Only the Tamarack tree cricket is similar.
The Tamarack tree cricket is similar to the Pine tree cricket; however, they have deep brown where the Pine tree cricket has rust coloring.
The Narrow-winged tree cricket has a ' J ' shaped mark on the first antennal segment and a teardrop shaped mark on the second segment. In this photo, you can see the hooks of the ' J '.
The Snowy tree cricket (O. fultoni) has black spots on the antennal markings -- one on the first segment and one on the second segment. They are usually equal in size and positioned in the center of the segment.
The antennal markings on Alexander's tree cricket are similar to those of the Snowy tree cricket. Indeed, the best way to tell these two species apart is by the pattern of their chirps.
The Western tree cricket (O. californicus) sometimes has a single black linear mark on the first two antennal segments; sometimes there are no marks. This brown-form Western tree cricket has no markings.
Antennal markings of O. walkeri
The Two-spotted tree cricket lacks markings -- but the 1st segment of their antennae is distinctively shaped. Note the 'knob' on the upper outer portion.
The antennae and antennal markings of O. texensis are similar to O. varicornis and O. californicus. The surest way to ID these species are by the pulses per second rate of the male's song. O. texensis sings the slowest.