Prior to 1980 Roesel’s Bush-cricket had a restricted distribution in the UK being found in coastal grasslands from Kent to the Humber. After 1980 the species began a dramatic range expansion north and west.
The species was finally recorded in Devon in 2014 but is colonisation of the county has been slow.
Below is a list of all the records of Roesel’s Bush-cricket in Devon, I’m sure it is an under-estimate and I am keen to receive further records if you have seen it in Devon.
|Metrioptera roeselii||08/08/2014||Flockmill, Rewe||SS960007||Karim Vahed||1||f. diluta|
|Metrioptera roeselii||29/07/2017||Trinity Hall Nature Reserve, Axminster||SY308957||Alex Worsley||Multiple|
|Metrioptera roeselii||06/07/2018||Dawlish Warren||SX9878||Philip Chambers||1||f. diluta|
|Metrioptera roeselii||21/08/2019||Flockmill, Rewe||SS960007||Gabriel Vahed||1||Male|
|Metrioptera roeselii||26/08/2019||A3052, Weston||SY173907||Kevin Rylands||1|
|Metrioptera roeselii||01/09/2019||Seaton Marshes||SY2591||Dave Smallshire||Multiple|
|Metrioptera roeselii||25/06/2020||Ross Meadow, Fingle Woods||SX795888||Tom Williams||1|
|Metrioptera roeselii||21/07/2020||Axmouth – Lyme Regis Cliffs||SY273896||John Walters||Multiple|
|Metrioptera roeselii||08/08/2020||Halsden Farm, Exmouth||SX9982||Will Scott||1|
|Metrioptera roeselii||09/08/2020||Exwick, Exe Valley||SX9093||Will Scott||1|
|Metrioptera roeselii||03/08/2021||Beer meadow||SY213894||Christopher Hodgson||Multiple|
To date this year I have received one record from a new site at Beer, found by Christopher Hodgson. The species favours long unkempt grass and can be quite difficult to spot as individuals skulk. However Roesel’s Bush-crickets have a very distinctive song which is audible to those with good hearing. I use a bat detector to pick up the call now I’m older!
Follow this link to the website of Orthoptera UK and you can play a sound clip to hear how distinctive the song is. The individuals which the long wings stridulate and produce a loud song which to me sounds like standing under a high voltage electric pylon in the rain!
Now is the time to go out and find Roesel’s Bush-crickets. Majority of the Devon records are to the east of Exeter. On a hot sunny day see if you can see or hear any…. and if you do, please let me know as I’m the County Recorder for Devon for Orthoptera.