What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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Ant crickets feed on secretions of the ants but no one has discovered how they move from nest to nest. They lay incredibly large eggs for the size of the female, each egg being about 1/3 her size. Some species are parthenogenetic. A linear dominance hierarchy in which size and age play a primary role has been described in an American species of Myrmecophilus (Henderson and Akre 1986).


The 'ant crickets' are small, apterous, flattened crickets which live as inquilines in ant nests. Two genera are recognised with about 42 species. The world-wide distribution of Myrmecophilus suggests an ancient origin for the family. Eyes reduced; all coxae large and closely approximated ventrally; cerci with pseudosegmentation; ovipositor short, stout, strongly and rigidly descending, supported at base by long descending processes of T8 and T9. These crickets resemble Trigonidiinae, some of which occur in leaf litter, and ant crickets may have diverged from the ancestors of that subfamily.

  • Myrmecophilus testaceus , female