Backyard Buddies

jumpers

Crickets

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Photo credit: Arthur Chapman

Crickets

Crickets live all over Australia and you have probably heard them - but maybe not seen one. The most common is the Black Field Cricket. Only the male of this species 'chirp' by rubbing their wings together. They do it to attract females, to woo them, and to warn off other male competitors. Black Field Crickets are widespread in eastern and southern Australia. It's not hard to spot one jumping around as they grow to about 2.5 cm long. ..

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Grasshoppers

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Photo credit: Charles J Sharp

Grasshoppers

During the hot nights of summer, grasshoppers are getting ready to breed. Around dusk in the disappearing light male grasshoppers sing romantic serenades to attract females. Their range of pitch and calls are endless. The male grasshopper creates music using his legs. Like a bow drawn across violin strings, the grasshopper draws his legs across his front pair of wings to make buzzes and trills. It may help attract a mate but this noisy b..

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Katydids

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Photo credit: Bill & Mark Bell

Katydids

The Common Garden Katydid is a quite common backyard buddy and garden visitor. It's a cousin to the grasshopper and cricket, about 4 to 6 cm in length with extremely long, thin antennae, and powerful back legs for jumping. There are about 1000 species in Australia and they are part of the orthopteran group of insects, which means 'straight wings'. Like crickets, male Katydids play songs to attract females by rubbing their wings t..

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Leafhoppers

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Photo credit: John Tann

Leafhoppers

If you see a spot of yellowy-green, brown or red on your plants and it's jumping from place to place and when you take a closer look it quickly scuttles around to the other side of the leaf- it could be a leafhopper. Leafhoppers bite through leaves, stems and bits of tree trunk to suck up the delicious and nutritious plant sap, particularly Eucalyptus trees. Leafhoppers often work with ants. While they're drinking they excrete honey..

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