Crickets and Katydids (Grylloidea and Tettigonioidea)
In most species of these two superfamilies, the males broadcast easy-to-hear, species-specific calls that greatly facilitate the finding and studying of individuals and populations in the field. [For the same reason, among terrestrial vertebrates, frogs and birds are especially accessible for field studies.] In the mid 1950’s, when T.J. Walker began graduate work in entomology, portable audio-recorders and improved audio-analysis and playback devices were becoming available. These made it easy to record insect songs in the field, and, in the lab, to display and analyze those recorded songs. These advances enabled experiments with the effects of playbacks of the songs (natural or synthesized) on individuals of the same or other species. Those circumstances opened up attractive areas of research that T.J. Walker pursued for the next 60 years (see Biography and Bibliography).
During more than half of these years, T.J. Walker entered text and numerical research information of lasting importance onto paper data sheets or index cards, but with the advent of personal computers and electronic spreadsheets, he gradually digitized the more important records and, by 1998, assembled most of his research data on crickets and katydids into "GrylTett.mdb," a Microsoft Access relational database . The fundamental data of the final version of that database, are archived here as eight Excel spreadsheets. [to be sent by File-Express] This PDF file gives names of the tables and their fields and the number of records in each archived table.
Funding for collecting and organizing the Thomas J. Walker Collection was partially provided by Thomas J. Walker.