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TREE CRICKETS HAVE SIX STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT:   

1st instar   2d instar   3d instar   4th instar   5th instar   ADULT

The first 5 stages are NYMPH stages; the last stage is the ADULT stage.


This little tree cricket NYMPH is 3mm long from the tip of its face to the end of its body.  It is less than 10 minutes old. Note the clear bump on the top of its head. This disappears within a few hours. It is similar to a human baby's Caput succedaneum. Fluid collects there as the embryo's head pushes on the plug (that its mother made) to get out of the stem.


This little tree cricket has undergone a first molting and is in the 2d INSTAR stage.  You can see tiny 'hairs' on the leaves of this Goldenrod plant -- tree crickets of all ages eat these fibers.  This little tree cricket is eating aphids - another common meal for tree crickets.

This tree cricket is 23 days old and is also in the 2d INSTAR stage.  Note the lack of wings and non-prominent pronotum.  It measures 4-5 mm.


This 3d INSTAR stage tree cricket is an undetermined species  found in Nicaragua -- but appears to be in the varicornis group based on the pattern on its topside.  Note the lack of wings, but distinct pronotum.  In addition, the base of the antennae are more prominent than in the previous stage.




This Snowy tree cricket is in the 4th INSTAR stage -- its short wings are barely visible.  Also of note, it appears a metanotal gland is beginning to form.


This 4th INSTAR has a clearly visible pronotum along with fairly short wings.  The wings are still encased in 'envelopes' as they continue to develop.


This 5th INSTAR has wings that extend halfway down its abdomen.


This 5th stage female instar of O. walkeri shows shorter wings and ovipositor length than those of an adult.

This 5th stage INSTAR's wings extend halfway down its abdomen, and are beginning to 'plump' up -- indicating it will molt soon


This 5th INSTAR is within hours of undergoing its final molting into adulthood.  Note the thickened appearance of the wing 'envelopes.'