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National Insect Week returns in 2020

Lesser Marsh Grasshopper

(Chorthippus albomarginatus)

Order

Crickets & grasshoppers

Chorthippus albomarginatus female

© Roger Key

Chorthippus albomarginatus female

Grasshoppers are jumping insects with short antennae, they are often camouflaged within their grassland habitat with brown and green colours.  They make sound or 'stridulate' by rubbing a peg on their hind femur against a thickened vein on the forewing; they 'hear' with organs on the side of the abdomen.  In Britain there are 11 species of grasshopper, the Lesser Marsh Grasshopper is a common species.

What do they look like?

Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers have two colour forms, straw brown or light green.  They have a pointed snout, parallel ridges or keels behind the head and long wings as adults.  Males are 15 mm in length and females are larger at around 20mm in length, often with a white wing border.

Where do they live?

The Lesser Marsh Grasshopper lives in damp marshy and drier grassland habitats.

When can you see them?

Nymph Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers hatch in May, they grow and mature and adults are present from mid July to Autumn.

Life cycle

Nymphs of the Lesser Marsh Grasshopper hatch in May and go though successful moults until maturing as adults in early to mid July.  Males and females mate, then the female lays eggs at the base of grass stems.  Eggs overwinter and hatch the following spring.

What do they do?

Grasshoppers are active in the day, particularly in warm sunshine.  They feed on several types of grass species.

Did you know?

Male and female Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers have a characteristic courtship call of two to six chirps per second, this sounds like the winding of a mechanical clock.

Where can they be found?

The Lesser Marsh Grasshopper is common around Britain, but is more abundant in Midland and Eastern areas.

Did you know?

Midge burgers

So many midges emerge in the rainy season from Lake Victoria, that they are made into burgers for humans!

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