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.
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!
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