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Bush Cricket Hunt 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Felicity Jackson   
Sep 14, 2017 at 03:41 PM

On August 20, 2017, 16 of us met, as has become usual, outside the South Avenue entrance to the Reserve. We were lucky that the weather was dry and reasonably warm.

Bush cricket expert Jon Delf, from Shropshire, brought along a laptop and showed us some interesting information and illustrations of British bush cricket species, together with their songs - inaudible to me, but I managed to enhance these using a bat detector.

Again we were fortunate to have an impressive array of experts to assist us; as well as Jon, Professor Karim Vahed from Derby University, Steve Plant and Bill Grange.

We didn't need to explore very far into the Reserve, and found quite a few bush crickets. Karim's two sons were adept at finding the creatures. I needed the bat detector in my search; the youngsters of course didn't!

Roesel's bush crickets, males and females, were spotted fairly easily; I would estimate we found between 10 and 20. A few of these were mostly green, rather than the usual brown, and with almost ‘day-glow' yellow markings. Long-winged coneheads were a bit more elusive; they tended to be concentrated in grassy areas; again we must have found 10 to 20, mostly adults but a couple of nymphs. We spotted about ten Lesser Marsh grasshoppers: fewer than I would have expected; I didn't happen to detect any in song. The loud bush cricket songs tend to drown out those of grasshoppers!

Little green leafhoppers, Cicadella viridis, were everywhere; in dozens, probably hundreds, down in the vegetation. Among other insects seen were three types of shieldbug, various small predatory bugs, and four ladybird species. Together with solitary wasps, parasitic ichneumon wasps, froghoppers, a few hoverflies, a hawker dragonfly, and an earwig. And a few harvestmen (or daddy-long-legs), Opiliones, related to spiders.

On a dock seedhead were clusters of tiny white eggs, probably a moth; Jon suggested Large yellow underwing.

After a couple of hours the weather had turned duller and rain threatened. However, it had been another good afternoon; good insect hunting, and good company too.


Species seen

Contributed by Felicity, Bill Grange and Steve Plant

(Click on the species and view the register Page - Admin)


Roesel's bush cricket   (Metrioptera roeseli)            

Many heard (5 to 10), about 10 seen; I estimate 10 to 20 (a few of these were mostly green)


Long Winged Conehead   (Conocephalus discolor)

5+ heard, about 10 seen, mostly adults; they seemed to be concentrated in small areas probably due to limited habitat; estimate 10 to 20 altogether


Lesser marsh grasshopper    (Chorthippus albomarginatus)

About 10 seen, none heard


Green Leafhopper  (Cicadella viridis)

dozens, probably hundreds seen


Common Froghopper    (Philaenus spumarius)                                  

2 seen


Harlequin ladybird    (Harmonia axyridi)

5+ seen


7 spot ladybird   (Coccinella septempunctata)

2+ seen


22-spot ladybird    (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata)

1 seen

Orange Ladybird    (Halyzia sedecimguttata)                                                                

Larva and adult.  It feeds on mildews and overwinters in leaf litter or in

sheltered positions on trees.This species was once closely associated

with ancient woodland but is now increasing in the UK as it has adapted

to live on Sycamore and Ash.


Green shieldbug    (Palomena prasina)

1 seen


Spiked Shield Bug  (Picromerus bidens)

1 seen

The species is predatory on caterpillars


Blue Shieldbug    (zicrona caerulea)

1 seen

This species feeds on leaf beetles, which it superficially resembles.


Common Earwig    (Forficula auricularia)

1 male


‘The 'Long Hoverfly'   (Sphaerophoria scripta)

1 female


A species of hoverfly    (Syrphus vitripennis)

A species of solitary hunting wasp. These nest in decaying wood, excavating tunnels with several cells which are then stocked with food (various paralysed flies and hoverflies) for their developing larvae.


Also seen:

-   Clusters of tiny white eggs, probably a moth (Jon Delf suggests Large yellow

    underwing) on dock seedhead

-   A Gall Fly (spotted by Peter Hill's grandson Charlie)

-   4 species of Ichneumon

-   1 Hawker Dragonfly on the wing

-   Harvestman species, 3+




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