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Grand Teton National Park Report

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The sagebrush cricket, Cyphoderris strepitans, is one of only five extant species belonging to an ancient insect lineage, the Haglidae, believed to be ancestral to modern-day crickets and katydids (Orthoptera: Ensifera) (Morris and Gwynne 1978). C. strepitans occurs exclusively in mountainous areas of Wyoming and Colorado, where it is found primarily in high-altitude sagebrush meadow habitat. Adults become sexually active in May, shortly after snowmelt, and remain active for the next 4-6 weeks. Each night of the breeding season, males emerge from the soil litter shortly after sunset, climb into the sagebrush and begin to sing, presumably to attract sexually receptive females. Copulation is initiated when a receptive female climbs onto the dorsum of a male, at which time he attempts to transfer a spermatophore. During copulation, the female feeds on the male's fleshy metathoracic wings and ingests any haemolymph leaking from the wounds she inflicts (Sakaluk et al. 1987, Morris et al. 1989, Sakaluk and Snedden 1990). The wounds that result from wing feeding provide a convenient, permanent record of a male's mating status; through visual inspection of the metathoracic wings, it is possible to determine whether field-collected males are virgin or have mated at least once prior to their capture (Dodson et al. 1983, Morris et al. 1989).