mole cricket

any of several burrowing crickets of the family Gryllotalpidae that have fossorial forelegs and that feed on the roots of plants.

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 any of about 65 species of insects (order Orthoptera) that are sometimes placed in the true cricket family, Gryllidae. The common name is derived from the insect's molelike appearance and underground habits. The mole cricket has forelegs modified for shovelling, a cylindrical body, a pointed head, and a velvety coat of hairlike setae. It burrows into moist soil to depths of 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches).

      The mole cricket has wings and may leave its burrow at night. The female lacks a long ovipositor for egg-laying. Eggs are placed in underground chambers that sometimes include plant material, which serves as food for newly hatched nymphs. Unlike most insects, one European mole cricket species (Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa) guards its eggs and young. The mole cricket feeds on roots and, when present in sufficiently large numbers, injures crops, turf, and gardens. The Puerto Rico mole cricket (Scapteriscus vicinus), also known as a changa, can be a serious pest. The male mole cricket's song is deep-toned and regularly repeated.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mole cricket — Mole Mole, n. [OE. molle, either shortened fr. moldwerp, or from the root of E. mold soil: cf. D. mol, OD. molworp. See {Moldwarp}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any insectivore of the family {Talpid[ae]}. They have minute eyes and ears, soft fur, and very… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mole cricket — n. any of a family (Gryllotalpidae) of crickets having large front legs specialized for burrowing, and feeding chiefly on roots …   English World dictionary

  • Mole cricket — This article is about the mole cricket species. For the character of the same name, see Mother 3. Mole cricket Gryllotalpa brachyptera, Victoria, Australia Scientific classification …   Wikipedia

  • mole cricket — noun a large burrowing nocturnal cricket like insect. [Family Gryllotalpidae: many species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • mole-cricket — n. Churr worm, jarr worm, eve churr, earth crab, fen cricket (Gryllotalpa vulgaris) …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • mole cricket — /ˈmoʊl krɪkət/ (say mohl krikuht) noun any burrowing insect of the family Gryllotalpidae, brown in colour, related to the true cricket, but with front claws adapted for digging in order to eat the roots of grasses and other plants …   Australian English dictionary

  • mole cricket — noun digs in moist soil and feeds on plant roots • Hypernyms: ↑cricket …   Useful english dictionary

  • mole cricket — noun Date: 1714 any of a family (Gryllotalpidae) of widely distributed orthopteran insects that have broad front legs adapted for digging in moist soil and that feed largely on the roots of plants …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • mole cricket — noun Any of various large insects from the family Gryllotalpidae that burrow into moist soil and feed on plant roots …   Wiktionary

  • Operation Mole Cricket 19 — Part of the 1982 Lebanon War …   Wikipedia

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