Posted: September 16, 2022

PSU undergraduate student Celia Graef has authored a new pocket guide which provides information about PA's most common night singing insects. Email IBC Education Specialist Heather Desorcie for a physical copy/copies!

If you stand outside after dark on a warm summer or fall evening, you will likely hear a chorus of night singing insects. They can be difficult to identify by sight, as they silently camouflage in vegetation during the day and are masked by darkness at night. Learning the nighttime calls of crickets, coneheads, and katydids is the best way you can identify insects in the order Orthoptera.

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A new pocket field guide developed by undergraduate student Celia Graef provides users with several pieces of information to assist in night singing insect identification. The creation of Pocket Field Guide to Night Singing Insects of Pennsylvania was funded by the Insect Biodiversity Center, the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, and the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. Insect illustrations are by Darin J. McNeil. Additional support for the project came from Dr. Christina Grozinger, Dr. Harland Patch, Heather Desorcie, and Dr. Natalie Boyle.

Each page of the pocket field guide highlights a species of Orthoptera with an illustration of the species, the time of year that it is likely to be heard, and a sonogram and mnemonic of its call. By scanning the QR code on the back of the guide, users can gather more detailed information on each species and listen to recorded calls.

To access the digital portion of the pocket field guide, visit https://psu.pb.unizin.org/nightsinginginsects. To request a physical copy of the Pocket Field Guide to Night Singing Insects of Pennsylvania, please contact Heather Desorcie at hud192@psu.edu.