Crickets and grasshoppers

White-kneed cricket
Photographer: Mike Trenerry

Crickets and grasshoppers are other large insect groups which have many representatives in the Wet Tropics region. Some are quite stunning, with spikes covering the body and vivid neon colours. Others are somewhat drab in coloration but can be very large in size.


The white-kneed cricket

The white-kneed cricket is often seen on tracks in rainforest at night,  it spends most of its time on the ground. The shiny brown segmented body is about 5cm in length and the legs with their white joints are even larger. The antennae can be over 10cm long. White-kneed crickets tend to sit still until a bushwalker passes nearby -- then they make a very high jump into the air, often bumping into or landing on the bushwalker and startling them. Feeling the grab of little feet from all directions usually startles the bushwalker as well, but the crickets are harmless and jump off quickly. They live in the ground and emerge at night to feed on fruit, nuts, leaves and scavenge on dead animals.

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