Thursday, July 19, 2007


Not quite sure how this bugger got into the kitchen, (like the Lesser Stag Beetle).

But there it was, when I got up this evening.

This is a bit of a success story in recent years.

The Roesel's Bush Cricket was originally pretty-well confined to the south-east coastlines of Britain, and Essex in the main - favouring lush, damp grassland.

In the last decade though it has spectacularly increased it's range north and west. I fancy you could find one of these as far north and west as Liverpool these days, possibly.

It is a very big cricket - it almost looks like a mini-locust! You can immediately recognise it by the yellow-green line around its pronotum (shell behind the head), and the 2 or 3 yellowish round(ish) marks behind this - both these markings are very distinctive and will avoid confusion with the (bog standard, hur hur) "Bog Bush Cricket".

Roesel's Bush Cricket is probably most famous for its "song" though. It has been described as sounding like an electricity pylon whining in an electrical storm, or even a dentist's drill. It tends to only sing when the weather is very hot though, so not much chance of that this summer!

That said, it normally only has very short wings - no longer than its abdomen. It will form long wings (as you can clearly see in the first photo), but only in long hot summers!

Something tells me this Cricket is somewhat confused about the weather. I popped him outside in the garden, to have a word with himself...!

NB. I've been doing a little research on this striking Cricket, and it seems that before 1980, it was regarded as relatively rare. A report from Buckinghamshire in 2006 (only that recent) was certainly noted as being out of the ordinary, although becoming a trend, so I may have been a tad premature when I suggested they may have got as far as Liverpool! I KNOW they are in Worcestershire though.

I'm also led to believe their "song" is similar to that of a "Savi's Warbler" - in case that helps you at all!

There is an article in the September 2001 issue of New Scientist magazine suggesting that the incidence of long-winged Roesel's Bush Cricket has risen from a few percent to a third of the entire population, as opposed to the short-winged variety, over twenty years.

This is attributed to global warming.

I should have guessed.


electrichalibut said...

As Geoffrey Boycott would say: Good cricket.

You might want to have a word with yourself about your home hygiene regime, though - the house seems to be infested with noxious insects. You'll have badgers nesting under your sofa if you're not careful.

The Black Rabbit said...

Under the sofa?
I wish!