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Orthoptera Recording

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Grasshoppers, crickets, bush-crickets and ground-hoppers form the order of insects known as the Orthoptera. They are a good group for the non-entomologist to study and record, as they are large, active and relatively easy to identify. And, because the males of most species sing, they can often be identified and recorded even when hidden.

In Kent, 22 species are recorded regularly, and these are listed below. Kent is fairly well recorded for Orthoptera, but there are still some significant gaps, as indicated on the coverage map, below. It is hoped that these pages will encourage more people to take an interest in the Orthoptera, and to send in records. This will not only help fill in gaps in our knowledge, but also help track changes in the county's Orthopteran species over time.

All Orthoptera records

Orthoptera records for Kent (Vice-counties 15 and 16) to January 2013. Map produced using DMAP by Dr Alan Morton.

Send your records of grasshoppers, bush-crickets, crickets or ground-hoppers to the address below:
recorder address

 

The species

Family Tettigoniidae
Oak Bush-cricket Meconema thalassinum
Southern Oak Bush-cricket Meconema meridionale
Great Green Bush-cricket Tettigonia viridissima
Wart-biter Decticus verrucivorus
Dark Bush-cricket Pholidoptera griseoaptera
Grey Bush-cricket Platycleis albopunctata
Roesel's Bush-cricket Metrioptera roeselii
Long-winged Cone-head Conocephalus discolor
Short-winged Cone-head Conocephalus dorsalis
Speckled Bush-cricket Leptophyes punctatissima

Family Gryllidae
House-cricket Acheta domesticus

Family Tetrigidae
Cepero's Ground-hopper Tetrix ceperoi
Slender Ground-hopper Tetrix subulata
Common Ground-hopper Tetrix undulata

Family Acrididae
Stripe-winged Grasshopper Stenobothrus lineatus
Woodland Grasshopper Omocestus rufipes
Common Green Grasshopper Omocestus viridulus
Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus
Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus
Lesser Marsh Grasshopper Chorthippus albomarginatus
Rufous Grasshopper Gomphocerippus rufus
Mottled Grasshopper Myrmeleotettix maculatus

There have also been recent records for Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata (which has an established population just outside Kent, near Hastings), Egyptian Grasshopper Anacridum aegyptium (a southern European species occasionally introduced with, for example, imported plants) and Tree-cricket Oecanthus pellucens (another southern European species likely to be a casual introduction).

In addition, there are historic records for a few other species, including Greenhouse Camel-cricket Tachycines asynamorus and Mole-cricket Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa.

 

Identifying Orthoptera

You can download a sheet describing six common species pdfhere1.77 MB03/01/2013, 14:53.

A very good, and cheap, guide to all the UK species is the 8-page Field Studies Council leaflet, Guide to British Grasshoppers and Allied Insects, ISBN 185153864X. This illustrates every species, and includes a key.

A larger work, covering identification, habitat, behaviour and much more is The Grasshoppers and Allied Insects of Great Britain and Ireland, by JA Marshall, ECM Haes and D Ovenden, ISBN 0946589364. Currently out of print.

The recently published Grasshoppers and Crickets of Surrey by David W Baldock, ISBN 0952606542, is an excellent county atlas which lots of photos and useful information.

The Sound Guide to the Grasshoppers and Allied Insects of Great Britain and Ireland, by JF Burton and DR Ragge, is an audiocassette of songs and calls. It is also possible to obtain A Sound Guide to the Grasshoppers and Crickets of Western Europe, by David Ragge and WJ Reynolds, which comes as a 2 CD set. A simple bat detector is a very useful tool to listen for grasshoppers and bush-crickets, as many calls are high-pitched – even younger people will find it useful, and those over 40 or so who find it hard to hear higher frequencies (this includes the author!) may find it essential.

 

Send your records of grasshoppers, bush-crickets, crickets or ground-hoppers to the address below:
recorder address

For lots more information on the UK's Orthoptera, go to the Orthoptera Recording Scheme website.

 

 

 

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