Special features: For such a small creature the grasshopper can make a surprisingly loud noise. Walk past any patch of tall grass on a summers day and you’re sure to hear the males chirping to the females.
The noise is made by a row of pegs on their back legs, which they rub against their forewings. The wings help to amplify the sound. You can create a similar effect by stroking the teeth of a comb against the edge of a piece of cardboard.
Experts are able to identify different species of grasshopper by the sounds they make. Since each species has a slightly different arrangement of pegs on their legs, the sound they make is unique.
The grasshopper’s long, powerful back legs are also used as a defence mechanism. If the grasshopper feels threatened it can leap over relatively long distances, and propel itself out of harms way. Hence the name.
All grasshoppers have large eyes, and hearing organs located on each side of the body, on the abdomen. Their antennae are short and fairly thick compared to the antennae of crickets, which are long and very thin.
Grasshoppers lay their eggs in dry soil. The nymphs emerge around April or May the following year. There is no pupa or chrysalis stage in their life cycle, they simply grow, and moult several times until they reach adult size around July.  The adults can survive until November, but usually die off when the winter weather sets in.
The chirping of grasshoppers and crickets is one of the quintessential sounds of summer. Their song is very unusual in the insect world, and their giant leaps impress children and adults alike. Grasshoppers and crickets are common in many habitats and play essential ecological roles as a food source for rare or declining birds like skylarks, grey partridges, cirl buntings, corncrakes, and common cranes, for lizards and slow-worms, for small mammals such as harvest mice, and for spiders especially wolf spiders and large web-spinning spiders. The crickets and bush-crickets also help to control pests, for example by eating aphids.
There are 27 native species of grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera) and a number of naturalised species. The recording scheme includes these and also the related species: cockroaches, earwigs, stick-insects and mantids.
Over recent decades some species have declined, while others have expanded their distributions and, even, some new species have arrived. The Grasshoppers and Related Insects Recording Scheme was launched in 1968 with the support of the Biological Records Centre (BRC), to collect records of grasshoppers and related species, and map and study their distributions. The information gathered is used to see how wildlife is responding to factors such as changes in land use and climate. This work would not be possible without the help of people, like you, reporting when and where they find a species. This is an exciting time to record and study these insects and we look forward to receiving your records. Any sightings you submit are examined and verified by an expert, and are then made available the NBN Gateway for conservation, environmental decision-making, education, scientific research and other public benefit uses.
Grasshopper identification uk
Crickets and Grasshoppers in Nottinghamshire
The current status of NottinghamshireOrthoptera
Grasshoppers are among some of the best known insects, but as many species are difficult to observe closely, they are often not seen well enough to identify. To make matters more difficult, there are considerable variations within some species, which is another factor hindering those wishing to identify them. A net is therefore recommended for capture and study.
They belong to the order Orthoptera, of which there are four main families including Grasshoppers, Groundhoppers, Bush Crickets and True Crickets.
The current UK list contains around 30 species, including some known migrants/accidentals. Recent years have seen an exciting period for Orthoptera and our increasingly warmer climate has allowed several species expand their UK ranges.
Some recent Nottinghamshire colonists
Three of the species expanding their UK ranges, promptly arrived in Nottinghamshire after the turn of the century and increasing Nottinghamshire’s present Orthoptera fauna list to 15 species.
Lesser Marsh Grasshopper (Chorthippus albomarginatus) was the first of the three to appear in Nottinghamshire in 2000. Roesel’s Bush Cricket ( Metrioptera roeselii ) arrived in 2006 and beat the first Long-winged Conehead ( Conocephalus fuscus ) by a matter of weeks. Since arriving, all three species have spread to reach most parts of Nottinghamshire by the end of 2011. But these have not been the only new Crickets or Grasshoppers to appear in recent years.
The Southern Oak Bush Cricket (Meconema meridionale) was recorded for the first time (twice) from a Bilborough garden in 2009, but not again until 2017, when found at two sites by Tim Sexton. Our most recent addition however, remains the Short-winged Conehead (Conocephalus dorsalis) in 2011 and originally discovered at Attenborough Nature Reserve by Richard Rogers, before a quick follow-up record from Gunthorpe by Roy Frost. The Short-winged Conehead’s range-expansion looks likely to continue over the next few years.
Rare and scarce NottinghamshireOrthoptera
Despite much success for our most Nottinghamshire Orthoptera, two species still remain genuine county rarities and one may have disappeared altogether.
Perhaps the most restricted species in the county is the Stripe-winged Grasshopper (Stenobothrus lineatus) which is still only to be found at Budby South Forest. It’s occurrence here is especially interesting, as this is a relatively isolated site and in one of just three 10Km grid squares, north of a line between the Wash and the Severn estuary as far as we know.
The Speckled Bush Cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima) is now known from at least ten sites in Nottinghamshire and is still increasing it’s range here. However, the non-native HouseCricket (Acheta domesticus) is very rarely reported now.
The Dark Bush Cricket (Pholidoptera griseoaptera) was another species believed to have declined in Nottinghamshire, and at one time was feared extinct in the county. Over ten years ago, the last known Nottinghamshire record was from the Bingham Linear Park in 2003, where it were recorded by Paul Waring. Roy Frost (Nottinghamshire’s Orthoptera recorder) conducted an unproductive search in August 2011 and although the site still contained suitable habitat, it was feared that it had been lost from that site. However, in September 2013, we received confirmation that it had been discovered at Weston in the Trent Valley and had been present since at least 2011 and where it still does well.
Our thanks go to Roy Frost (the Orthoptera recorder for Nottinghamshire) for providing the information regarding the status of some of the rarer Crickets and Grasshoppers in Nottinghamshire. Roy has also written and compiled a complete, up to date list of species, with a review of the records and distribution of Nottinghamshire Orthoptera, accessible via the link at the top and bottom of this page.
Left:- The Nottinghamshire distribution of Long-winged Conehead Conocephalus fuscus, as of December 2018.
Grasshoppers, Groundhoppers and Crickets
In Wildlife Watch magazine’s Summer 2010 issue, we showed you a variety of baby insects to look out for, including a grasshopper nymph like the one in the photo above. But what do these babies look like when they grow up? How many different types are there and where can we find them?
Paul Stancliffe, our feature writer from the BTO, shows us six hoppers to look out for this summer.
There are many different species of grasshoppers, or Orthoptera (that’s the name for this group of animals), found in the UK. In fact, the group is split into four different families; grasshoppers, groundhoppers, bush crickets and true crickets.
Here are just a few you might expect to find this summer, if you know where to look.
Grasshoppers feed on plants and can be told apart from crickets by their shorter, stubby antennae. They are also usually larger and prefer to fly and jump away from danger, whereas crickets will often walk. Grasshoppers ‘sing’ (stridulate) by rubbing their legs against their wings. They famously have ‘ears’ in their bottoms!
*One of the commonest grasshoppers in the UK, along with the meadow grasshoppper.
*15-19mm in length.
*Likes sunny spots in short grassy places.
*Found across the whole of the UK and Ireland.
*Identified by the sharp zig-zags behind the head. The wings extend beyond the end of the body.
*Comes in a variety of colours; green, pink, brown and even purple varieties have all been seen!
*Adults can be seen in June and July, but in warm years are even seen into December.
*Can be common in some gardens.
*Found alongside the field grasshopper but prefers taller vegetation.
*Look for it from the south of England to the north of Scotland, but there are none in Ireland.
*Identified by short wings that rarely extend beyond the knees and are never longer than the body.
*The lines behind the head are almost straight (unlike the field grasshopper), only gently curving inwards at the middle.
*Mainly green in colour, sometimes brown, and very rarely vivid pink!
*The only UK grasshopper unable to fly.
*Adults seen in June through to September, but sometimes surviving as long as November.
*This grasshopper loves sunbathing!
*Seeks out the hottest, driest, sunniest spots in short vegetation.
*Identified by brown, strongly mottled colour and strong zig-zags behind the head.
*The antennae are clubbed shaped and much thicker in the female.
*Wings reach the end of the body.
*Found all over the UK from June to September.
Groundhoppers feed on moss and algae and don’t have long forewings wings like grasshoppers.
*Of the six, this is by far the smallest.
*Approx 5mm in length it is easily overlooked.
*It is widespread across the UK.
*Can be found in gardens.
*Prefers mossy areas in any habitat.
*Identified by its small size and brown colour.
*Can be found in any moth of the year.
*Told from other groundhoppers by its short wings which are only just longer than its body.
Bush crickets have thin, delicate antennae that can be longer than their bodies and are more active at night than grasshoppers. Some female crickets have a particularly fearsome looking ovipositor (egg laying tube). Crickets ‘sing’ (stridulate) by rubbing their wings together and can hear through ear-like sensors on their front legs!
Roesel’s bush cricket
*Likes ungrazed grassland, water meadows, the edges of parks, roadsides and wild gardens.
*Found from the south of England to the Midlands and moving north.
*Adults occur from late July to late October.
*Has a loud buzzing ‘song’ that sounds a bit like a buzzing electrical pylon!
*Whilst grasshoppers and groundhoppers are vegetarians, bush crickets are omnivorous and will eat each other given the chance!
*Likes rough, ungrazed vegetation such as urban wasteland.
*Can be found in wild areas in gardens.
*Green with a red stripe down the centre of the head and back.
*The long wings extend beyond the end of the body.
*Found from the the south of England to the Midlands but slowly spreading north.
Grasshopper identification uk
At first it was dismissed as just one of the four species of grasshopper found in Shoreham, until the photograph of the long antennae revealed it to be a cricket, the previously unrecorded (in Shoreham*) Roesel’s Bush-cricket , Metrioptera roeselii.
(* nearest location was Anchor Bottom)
2 May 2019 The small green grasshopper nymphs (illustrated left) frequently seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill were probably the Common Green Grasshopper, Omocestus viridulus.
23 April 2019 Very small bright green grasshopper nymphs were seen amongst the dense green undergrowth on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Previous Report
Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus North Shoreham
5 July 2017 A rustle in the dense but very short vegetation on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was recognised with a clear view of a Common Lizard , Zootoca vivipara, which may have been after a Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus.
19 June 2017 On the lower slopes of Mill Hill the grasshoppers were stridulating. Common Green Grasshopper, Omocestus viridulus.
Top Row: Mill Hill Cutting (SW) Field Grasshopper Bottom: Old Shoreham, towpath by the river Lesser Marsh Grasshopper
These Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers , Chorthippus albomarginatus. were hopping in around the Sea Purlsane on the river edge at Old Shoreham.
14 July 2016 On the lower slopes of Mill Hill I recorded only my second Common Green Grasshopper, Omocestus viridulus.
Most sightings on Mill Hill seem to be the Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus.
12 July 2016 Thousands of small grasshoppers were easily disturbed in the verges of the Steyning Line Cyclepath (from Old Shoreham to just north of the Erringham Gap). Most of then were Meadow Grasshoppers,Chorthippus parallelus, and a few Dark Bush Crickets were also seen.
6 July 2016 Mill Hill
Grasshoppers on Mill Hill
Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus , at least one Common Green Grasshopper, Omocestus viridulus.
The Dark Bush Cricket was also present.
This is my first record of the second one for Mill Hill.
13 September 2015 Field near Miller’s Stream , Steyning Road, Old Shoreham.
Nymph of a species of bush cricket called a Short-winged Conehead,Conocephalus dorsalis.
27 August 2015 Amongst the Sea Purslane on the edge of the River Adur north of the Tollbridge, Old Shoreham.
1 August 2015 Grasshopper, Mill Hill Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus
Lesser Marsh Grasshopper
Three Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were spotted around Shoreham Fort but I was more pleased to discover a Lesser Marsh Grasshopper , Chorthippus albomarginatus.
22 July 2014 A Dark Bush Cricket,Pholidoptera griseoaptera, was spotted amongst the dense meadow verge of the cyclepath south of the Cement Works.
5 July 2014
Field Grasshopper .
15 October 2013 A Dark Bush Cricket,Pholidoptera griseoaptera, was spotted on the verges of the Waterworks Road , Old Shoreham. One Meadow Brown Butterfly was disturbed into flight on the lower slopes of Mill Hill by the frequent grasshoppers. One was identified as a Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus.
2 October 2013
On Mill Hill Road, north of the bridge, I spied a Dark Bush Cricket,Pholidoptera griseoaptera, by the hedge.
20 September 2013 After the rain and the near Gale, the day was fine, overcast with intermittent sunshine. The lower slopes of Mill Hill were cast in shade as the clouds blocked out the rays of sun . There no butterflies at all for nearly five minutes, just hundreds of Field Grasshoppers ,Chorthippus brunneus , jumping everywhere I stood and scores of Crane-flies over the short vegetation.
September 2013 A Speckled BushCricket, Leptophyes punctatissima, landed on my computer keyboard indoors. I do not know how it arrived although the small window was open. It was not rescued or photographed. It hopped out of the way and disappeared.
9 August 2012 I discovered a Speckled BushCricket, Leptophyes punctatissima, on a Kidney Vetch on the Buckingham Cutting (south) but it disappeared when I changed the lens for a photograph. There was another probable brown juvenile cricket on a budding Carline Thistle .
27 May 2012 With the fine weather continuing, Mill Hill was bathed in sunlight under an almost clear blue sky. Grasshoppers were heard stridulating for the first time this year on the lower slopes.
15 May 2011 Small grasshoppers were frequently seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill and they were heard stridulating.
29 April 2011 On Mill Hill, the first very small green-coloured grasshoppers were hopping around amongst the herbs a especially at the southern end of the lower slopes.
9 September 2010 The 6.9 metre equinoctial spring tide at 12:35 pm lapped against the riverbank at Old Shoreham which had the result of compelling the three species of grasshoppers that normally occupy the high tide strandline and Orache zone into a thin line of vegetation between the River Adur and the cyclepath and hundreds of them could easily be disturbed. Most were Field Grasshopper ,Chorthippus brunneus , followed by a few Meadow Grasshoppers,Chorthippus parallelus.
Photograph: This is an adult of a species of bush cricket called a Short-winged Conehead,Conocephalus dorsalis.
The long antennae equals bush cricket.
11 July 2010 Juvenile Meadow Grasshoppers,Chorthippus parallelus, were seen in their hundreds on Mill Hill.
1 July 2010 A juvenile Field Grasshopper ,Chorthippus brunneus , hopped amongst amongst the late flowering patch of Starry Clover, Trifolium stellatum , near the Old Fort. There were scores of these grasshoppers in the long grass around the Old Fort.
30 May 2010 The first grasshoppers of the year were heard and then seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
7 May 2009 The first Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus, of the year was spotted on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
8 October 2008 I observed a late grasshopper on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
The pale marking is not a reliable character on its own as it can also be present on Common Green, Field, Stripe-winged, and other species in the same three genera as these three.
24 July 2008 Hundreds of grasshoppers were stridulating in the Sea Purslane on the eastern estuarine bank of the River Adur opposite Cuckoo’s Corner. Provisional identification was to the species called the Lesser Marsh Grasshopper , Chorthippus albomarginatus. I have changed my mind about this one, and I think it is the Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus.
25 August 2007 A Speckled Bush Cricket was seen in the shade on the Slonk Hill Cutting south.
12 June 2007 On the Downs Link I spotted this grasshopper in the meadow (as the verge widens) south of the Cement Works. It looks like the the Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus. (not confirmed)
3 June 2007 My first small Field Grasshoppers,Chorthippus brunneus , of the year were seen on the north bank of of the Slonk Hill.
29 April 2007 My first juvenile (=nymph) grasshopper of the year was also spotted amongst the herbs on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
26 September 2006 There were still a few Field Grasshoppers,Chorthippus brunneus , on Mill Hill.
29 August 2006 A grasshopper jumped rather than flew at the window of the Cancer Relief Charity Shop in East Street, Shoreham. I captured it and put it in my tool box and released it in my front garden later in the afternoon.
This is a male of Chorthippus brunneus . It has angled keels on the pronotum, brown knees of the hind legs, a red abdomen and typical wings with the (difficult to see) lobe on the underside. It is a very good flyer and you can find it regularly within cities and towns. ID by Hendrik Devriese (Belgium) Checklist of UK Recorded Acrididae
11 July 2006 A Speckled BushCricket, Leptophyes punctatissima, landed on my bicycle parked underneath an Elderberry Bush on Mill Hill. On Mill Hill, the grasshoppers were stridulating noisily, probably both of the common two species, but only a Common Field Grasshopper,Chorthippus brunneus, was seen and identified.
29 June 2006 Hundreds of Chorthippus grasshoppers, were very likely, jumping to 60 cm perhaps more on Sea Beet, grasses and other vegetation above the high tide mark on the east side of the River Adur estuary opposite Shoreham Airport were mostly Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers , Chorthippus albomarginatus.
NB: I am having doubts about the ID (September 2013)
24 June 2006 Hundreds of Chorthippus grasshoppers, very lively and these were mostly tiny to small nymphs over the grasses and stonecrops on the shingle to the west of the Old Fort on Shoreham Beach. They jumped on to the Silver Ragwort and Sea Kale leaves as well. They did not stridulate and could not be heard. These were almost certainly Common Field Grasshoppers,Chorthippus brunneus.
15 & 23 June 2006 Grasshoppers were stridulating and a Common Field Grasshopper,Chorthippus brunneus, was identified on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
11 June 2006 A Grasshopper was seen for the first time this year on the Pixie Path and later heard in one patch on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. This was almost certainly the Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus.
10 October 2005 Common Field Grasshoppers,Chorthippus brunneus, were stridulating amongst the vegetation on the chalk banks of the River Adur estuary just south of the Toll Bridge and after a few minutes I spotted them crawling and jumping and flying.
I arrived home in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, just before dusk to find a Speckled BushCricket, Leptophyes punctatissima, on my front door, literally, (TQ 224 053).
14 September 2005 Small grasshoppers were active in the short grass just north of the Reservoir on Mill Hill and these looked like the same ones that were found on the lower slopes. They were very active so the photograph on the right is rather poor, but the best I could manage. I thought these could be the Common Green Grasshopper, Omocestus viridulus, but research seems to indicate small Meadow Grasshoppers,Chorthippus parallelus.
12 September 2005 Small Meadow Grasshoppers,Chorthippus parallelus, were still hopping around on Mill Hill south of the Reservoir. The identity of these smaller than usual grasshoppers is still under enquiry for confirmation and a poor photograph is included on the right.
2 September 2005 Common Field Grasshoppers,Chorthippus brunneus and Dark Bush Crickets , Pholidoptera griseoaptera, were identified from the harbour grass bank opposite Shoreham Harbour Power Station.
1 September 2005 A further look at the grasshoppers on the margin of vegetation above the high tide mark on the east side of the River Adur were definitely two species, the Lesser Marsh Grasshopper , Chorthippus albomarginatus, and the Common Field Grasshopper,Chorthippus brunneus .
The wing is a very distinctive green on this species which is the Lesser Marsh Grasshopper , Chorthippus albomarginatus .
The Lesser Marsh Grasshopper , Chorthippus albomarginatus , would usually jump when disturbed but at least one turned its hop into a flight with whirring wings.
In this green grasshopper, the distinguishing mark of the female Lesser Marsh Grasshopper , Chorthippus albomarginatus, is the white line on the leading edge of the wing.
Field Grasshopper,Chorthippus brunneus , on the riverbank.
The Lesser Marsh Grasshopper , Chorthippus albomarginatus , is very well camouflaged.
The Lesser Marsh Grasshopper , Chorthippus albomarginatus , viewed from the side.
28 August 2005
Common Field Grasshoppers were falling into the webs of the Garden Orb Spiders on Slonk Hill.
27 August 2005
A Dark Bush Cricket,Pholidoptera griseoaptera, estimated at 25 mm long (perhaps longer?). It was larger than any grasshopper I have ever seen.
This was seen by Miller’s Stream, at the new southern entrance by the Steyning road.
26 August 2005
This small grasshopper was discovered (probably with others of the same and different species) on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. This is almost certainly the Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus
25 August 2005 After the rain I ventured out as the spring tide nearly lapped against the banks of the Adur estuary.
Just south of the Toll Bridge t here was still a margin of vegetation above the high tide mark on the east side of the river, with Orache and other wild grasses and plants and this area hosted dozens of active grasshoppers that appeared to jump at least of metre. They looked slightly different from the two commonly found on the downs meadows and wastelands on the edge of town. Some, if not all, of them are the Lesser Marsh Grasshopper , Chorthippus albomarginatus . There could be more than one species present.
Definitely Chorthippus albomarginatus . The long wings and white stripe on the leading edge indicates a female. The male doesn’t have the white stripe and is very similar to Chorthippus parallelus , except for its song which is very different.
18 August 2005
The first Wasp Spider seen this year was a smallish one that had captured a Meadow Grasshopper on the Slonk Hill Cutting and had rolled it up in its webbing. Adur Spiders
9 August 2005
A juvenile grasshopper from a south Lancing garden. Its length of jump rather suggests a Common Field Grasshopper,Chorthippus brunneus.
7 August 2005 A cacophony of stridulating green grasshoppers came from the long grass of Frampton’s Field (horse fields next to the Pixie Path).
A Common Field Grasshopper,Chorthippus brunneus, was observed making a jump of two metres on the short sward exposed slopes on Mill Hill north of the Reservoir. The long grass usually hosts the Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus.
4 August 2005 A Long Winged Conehead,Conocephalus discolor,(a cricket) was recorded on camera in the Lancing Ring meadows in the late afternoon when the butterflies have gone to rest. Link to Image
3 August 2005 A brief visit to Malthouse Meadow, Sompting, revealed that the ubiquitous grasshoppers were present but made little noise. A dark shape on a leaf drew me to look closer to find a Dark Bush Cricket .
25 July 2005
One of the Meadow Grasshoppers ,Chorthippus parallelus, on the Slonk Hill Cutting southern bank, sported a fine purple livery. I inadvertently disturbed it mating with a green coloured partner.
22 July 2005
Common Field Grasshopper,Chorthippus brunneus Nymph: the wings have not grown yet At Slonk Hill south (eastern bank = Ringlet area).
Meadow Grasshopper,Chorthippus parallelus
Amongst the long grass at Slonk Hill south (next to the path).
17 July 2005 MEADOW GRASSHOPPERChorthippus parallelus
Amongst the long grass at Slonk Hill south (eastern bank = Ringlet area).
18 June 2005 On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, thousands of grasshoppers were clicking away in the grass.
7 June 2005 On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first grasshopper of the year was heard amongst the Tor Grass.
16 October 2004 Lancing Clump Katherine Hamblett heard the chirping of a male Dark Bush Cricket , Pholidoptera griseoaptera, with a distinctive yellow abdomen.
17 September 2003 This insect was the Speckled BushCricket, Leptophyes punctatissima, found in my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053).
The cricket hopped very slowly along the concrete path when poked, but mostly it crawled slowly around. It is an inhabitant of trees and bushes rather than the long grass, and may appreciate the Privet hedge and Brambles in my front patch. UK Grasshoppers & Crickets (Yahoo Group)
23 July 2003 Common Field Grasshopper,Chorthippus brunneus.
At Slonk Hill south (eastern bank = Ringlet area).
19 June 2003 The field next to the stream (TQ 209 068) to the west of the Waterworks (Old Shoreham) was like a jungle with thistles and nettles.
Several young (at least three) Dark Bush Crickets,Pholidoptera griseoaptera, were slow to hide in the thick vegetation.