Updated Singing Insects Of The Chicago Region For 2017

The Chicago region for this project includes 22 counties from southeastern Wisconsin around to Berrien County, Michigan. Singing insects are defined here as the cicadas, crickets, katydids, and members of two grasshopper subfamilies with sound displays that people can hear (though the songs of some are so high pitched that only young people can hear them unaided). There are around 100 species, though some I haven’t found outside historical records. I update the guide each year, and this year’s version is just over 100 pages.

The most important changes in the 2017 guide:

  • Added species pages for Cuban ground cricket, prairie meadow katydid, short-winged toothpick grasshopper, and clipped-wing grasshopper.
  • Removal of the page for the delicate meadow katydid (previous observation proved to be a variant of the dusky-faced meadow katydid; I am concerned that both delicate meadow katydids and slender coneheads may be extinct in the region).
  • Change of identification: the species previously labeled northwestern red-winged grasshopper proved to be a color variant of the autumn yellow-winged grasshopper.
  • Addition of 145 county records for all species combined, with the filling out of 9 species’ maps.
  • Added finds of persisting populations for 3 rare species.
  • Continued northward range expansion for the jumping bush cricket.

The guide is available for free as a highly compressed PDF document. (See Online References—Insects  for the 2017 guide.) There are maps showing current and historical county records, graphical devices indicating seasonal and time-of-day information, and descriptions of the insects and their songs. Information is presented as well on conservation concerns and ongoing range expansions. To get on the mailing list for future updates, send your request to me at wildlifer@aol.com.

Those who wish to follow the in-season progress of this research, or with more general interests in natural history, can check out my blog, https://natureinquiries.wordpress.com/ .

—Carl Strang, Wild Things presenter

Save the Date for Wild Things!

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Save the date for the next Wild Things Conference!

Saturday, February 18, 2017 at University of Illinois Chicago Forum.

Join us for the seventh biennial Wild Things Conference, bringing together volunteers, advocates, citizen scientists, researchers, and nature enthusiasts from across the Chicago region. We look forward to welcoming you to our new conference space at the UIC Forum for an inspiring day of presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities designed for the conservation community.

Wondering about the latest efforts to save the rusty-patched bumblebee? Curious to hear about the Kankakee mallow’s triumphant comeback on Langham Island? The Wild Things 2017 Conference is the place to be for the latest updates on these and other regional conservation issues.

Important upcoming dates:

  • August 27 – Call for presentations on our website
  • November 15 – Registration opens

Can’t wait for the conference? We encourage you to explore our new website and follow our Facebook page.

Updated Singing Insects Guide

In 2015, I completed my 10th year of studying the singing insects of the Chicago region, and have begun to distribute the species guide that is the project’s main product. The Chicago region for this project includes 22 counties from southeastern Wisconsin around to Berrien County, Michigan. Singing insects are defined here as the cicadas, crickets, katydids, and members of two grasshopper subfamilies with sound displays that people can hear (though the songs of some are so high pitched that only young people can hear them unaided). There are around 100 species, though some I haven’t found outside historical records. I update the guide each year, and this year’s version just reached 100 pages.

Title page 2016

The guide is available for free as a highly compressed PDF document that nevertheless occupies over 5MB, thanks to the many photos. (See Online Resources—Insects  for the 2016 guide.) There are maps showing current and historical county records, graphical devices indicating seasonal and time-of-day information, and descriptions of the insects and their songs. Information is presented as well on conservation concerns and ongoing range expansions. To get on the mailing list for future updates, send your request to me at wildlifer@aol.com.

Those who wish to follow the in-season progress of this research, or with more general interests in natural history, can check out my blog, https://natureinquiries.wordpress.com/

—Carl Strang (previous Wild Things presenter)