Handsome Bug

Red-headed bush cricket, the handsome trig (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

9 August 2021

The birds stopped singing weeks ago but the air is filled with the sound of bugs. One of them is the red-headed bush cricket (Phyllopalpus pulchellus) otherwise known as the Handsome Trig.

If you find a handsome trig you can see the beauty that gave him his name. Unfortunately he’s so tiny that we rarely see him.

However, you can hear him. He sings very loudly at 7000 Hertz, often from a Japanese honeysuckle thicket.

I say “You can hear him” because I cannot. I’ve lost my hearing above 6,000 Hertz so I view his voice as a spectrogram on the Spectroid app. The very bright white-orange stripe at 7406 Hertz is the LOUD sound of the handsome trig in the video above. The fainter line at 4,000 hertz is quieter and the only part of his sound that I can hear.

Spectrogram of handsome trig song in video above

Listen for this handsome bug.

Tell me if he’s loud. 🙂

(photo from Wikimedia Commons, videos embedded from YouTube; click on the captions or the YouTube logo to see the originals)

3 thoughts on “Handsome Bug

  1. Hi Kate,
    A while back I was birding with a friend and a Robin was about 15 ft. away on the ground making a high pitch sound that I am told is an alarm sound that they make. I was amazed cause I could hear it easily but she could not hear it at all. She could clearly see through her binoculars that the bird was opening its beak but again she heard nothing. So I assume you can not hear that sound either. True? Or you can hear it?
    Good day,

    1. Gene, I used to be able to hear it but no longer. It is indeed an alarm call warning family/youngsters of danger from the air.
      I see blackpolls open their beaks but cannot hear them sing. 🙁

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