Ballus chalybeius, commonly known as the steel blue cricket, is an insect found in Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the Pacific region. As its name suggests, it has a metallic blue body and dark brown wings. It is an important component of the ecosystem, as it helps to aerate the soil and is a food source for some species of birds and lizards.
Steel blue crickets are small, usually between 8-12mm long and have a black and blue colour pattern on their body and wings. Males have a more metallic blue colour on their wings and abdomen than females. The legs and antennae are black.
The steel blue cricket is typically found in warm, dry areas such as coastal dunes, grasslands, and woodlands. They typically live in burrows that they make in the soil, and can be found in great numbers at night. During the day, they hide in the burrows to protect themselves from predators.
The steel blue cricket feeds on plant material, including leaves, flowers, and fruits. They are also known to feed on other insects, such as aphids and caterpillars. They are especially attracted to sweet substances and can be found in large numbers around flowers in the evening.
Steel blue crickets are important to the environment as they help to aerate the soil. They also provide a food source for some species of birds and lizards. In addition, they are a prey species for some larger animals, including spiders and lizards.
Overall, the steel blue cricket is an important part of the ecosystem and is an interesting insect to observe. It is important to protect their habitat and ensure their populations remain healthy.