Long-winged Cone-heads in Devon

Prior to 1990 the Long-winged cone-head (Conocephalus discolor) was a nationally scarce species restricted to a few localised sites along the south coast of England. After 1990 the species underwent a dramatic range expansion. It was first recorded in Devon in 1994 at Dittisham. The species appears to be continuting to expand and it found in a wide variety of places in the county. It prefers to inhabit rough ungrazed grassland such as road verges and waste ground.

Long-winged cone-head

They are secretive animals which can be found by searching long vegetation. However the easiest way to locate them is by using a bat detector. Their call resembles an old fashioned chugging tractor!

Song of the Long-winged cone-head heard through a Batbox Duet bat detector set at 40KHz.

The current range of the Long-winged Cone-head is set out in the following map. This map is undoubtedly an underestimate of their current distribution.

Long-winged cone-heads can be confused with Short-winged cone-head (Conocephalus dorsalis) – in 2014 I produced a blog which enabled the reader to tell the two species apart – see here.

If you see or hear any Cone-heads in Devon – please let me know – I’m the county Recorder for Orthoptera – email me: adrian dot colston at gmail dot com …. many thanks

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