John Walters and the rufous grasshopper on the One Show

John Walters is a very good Dartmoor and Devon naturalist as well as being a great artist. He is also a friend of mine. He was recently on the One Shop talking about the mating behaviour of the rufous grasshopper. Here is the clip from the programme. Amazing how confiding the grasshoppers were!

Rufous grasshopper 4
Here are a couple of photos I took at the same location last year – note the swollen tip to the antennae

Rufous grasshopper 3
And the characteristic markings on the top of the pronotum

RG map
Here is the national distribution of the species (via the National Biodiversity Network) – quite a rare animal!


Grasshoppers and bush crickets on Scilly

The number of species of grasshopper and crickets on Scilly is rather low compared to Devon but there are plenty of individuals.

Great green bush cricket
This is a great green bush cricket – a large species around 2″ long – they make a lot of noise with their audible song but can be very hard to see

Long winged coneheadThis is the long winged cone head – only arrived on Scilly around 20 years ago but now seems to be everywhere

Field grasshopperThis is the field grasshopper – ubiquitous on the islands and the only species of grasshopper recorded here

Grasshoppers singing in the autumn

I recorded these very vocal meadow grasshoppers communicating with each other yesterday. The noise is called stridulating and is caused by the males rubbing their legs against their wings.


Meadow grasshopper
A meadow grasshopper

Meadow grasshopper
Note the short wings and black knees in this female.

Grasshoppers and crickets will be active until the first frosts come so they should be out and about during September and into October