Species Of The Week Number 45: Grasshopper

We have at least three species of Grasshopper or Cricket (Orthoptera) living alongside us in Meanwood: Field Grasshopper; Green Grasshopper and Roesel's Bush-cricket. There are probably more species but we haven't found them yet. Cicadas are a different but related group - and there is only one species of those native to the UK and it resides in the New Forest.

When Grasshopper populations explode they can transform into locusts and swarm. The largest ever locust swarm was in 1875 and was 1,800 miles long and contained 3.5 trillion individuals. Fear not though, there is currently minimal threat of a swarm of locusts arising from Sugarwell Hill and laying waste to the valley. Our Grasshoppers are not like that.

Orthoptera are very famous for jumping - and with good cause. If you had the same jumping prowess as a grasshopper you could easily spring from the Meanwood Road Recycling Centre to the Rolette Cafe in a single bound.

Orthoptera are also famous for 'singing' - and the best way of identifying our three species is by their songs which they make by rubbing their back legs against their wings.,

Male Field Grasshoppers sing with a single repeated 'chirrup' with a three second rest between sounds. Unless another male is also singing nearby in which case they chirrup four times faster to show how tough they are.

The song of the Green Grasshopper sounds like the ticking of a a spinning bike wheel and comes in bursts of about 20 seconds.

Roesel's Bush-crickets are relentless songsters. Their songs go on and on and on forever. It has been likened to the buzzing of overhead electricity wires.

Warm sunny days and evenings are the best time to hear them. It would be nice if we had some of those.

Publicado el 01 de agosto de 2023 por clunym clunym


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