Oecanthus laricis
Tamarack tree cricket
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Photo by David Cuthrell 

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Key Characteristics

The tamarack tree cricket is a long, narrow cricket with a dark, brownish-green, slightly flattened body; a brown, flattened, horizontal head; and slender brown hind legs. The head and pronotum (dorsal plate behind the head) may also have black markings, and the tegmina (thickened, leathery front wings) are less than 12 mm long.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G1G2


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Joseph12000
Van Buren12008
Distribution map for Oecanthus laricis

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


The tamarack tree cricket inhabits dense to open tamarack swamps and fens with trees of medium height (6 to 13 meters) in Michigan and Ohio. Occurs in both large intact wetland complexes as well as smaller, disturbed sites.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Maintain and restore sensitive prairie fen and tamarack swamp habitat. Avoid draining, filling, and other hydrologic alteration. Avoid cutting tamarack, but cutting/girdling associated shade-tolerant species such as red maple may be appropriate if tamaracks are being shaded out. Apply prescribed fire conservatively.

Active Period

Active from first week of August to second week of September

Survey Methods

Species occurs on upper branches of tamarack where they blend in with foliage. Sweep net tamarack foliage aggressively as high up on tree as possible. May also detect by song (usually mainly heard at evening and night), a slow trill with occasional interruptions.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Aug 16, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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