National Insect Week returns in 2020
Crickets & grasshoppersGrasshoppers 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.
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.
The Lesser Marsh Grasshopper lives in damp marshy and drier grassland habitats.
Nymph Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers hatch in May, they grow and mature and adults are present from mid July to Autumn.
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.
Grasshoppers are active in the day, particularly in warm sunshine. They feed on several types of grass species.
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.
The Lesser Marsh Grasshopper is common around Britain, but is more abundant in Midland and Eastern areas.