You may have heard this sound if you were in a field or meadow recently. It may have been hard to distinguish though, seeing as how it is likely it was mixed with MANY other animal sounds. When all those sounds are filling the air, it’s hard to tell one from another!
This sound is made from an insect called a Handsome Trig. I only learned of this creature when I took a picture of one, wondered what it was, then researched to identify it. This is often how I learn about new animals, especially insects and spiders. This was one I’d never seen and certainly wouldn’t have been able to identify by sound.
Handsome trigs are black and red with cream colored legs, their bodies only 1/4 to 1/3 inch long. Their latin name–Phyllopalpus pulchellus–means “beautiful leaf-feeler” because their mouthparts, called palps, are in constant motion. The trig uses them to “taste” the environment. In addition, they constantly move their long antennae.
When singing, the male holds his wings nearly straight up, rubbing one wing against the other to create their unique sound.
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