There are 27 different species of Grasshoppers and Crickets in the UK. Eleven species of grasshoppers and 10 species of Bush Crickets, plus true crickets and a Mole cricket. All species of Grasshoppers can fly except the Meadow grasshopper, while only 5 of the Bush crickets can fly.
The easiest way of telling the difference between a Grasshopper and a Cricket is the cricket has a long thin antennae, normally longer than its body while the grasshopper has short antennae.
Most crickets come out late afternoon to evening but the grasshoppers are around all day.
Grasshoppers eat grass, corn, wheat, barley and occasionally aphids, however Crickets are omnivores and scavengers, they eat rotting plant matter, leaves, fungi, insects and aphids.
Both species are a main food source for some birds, small mammals and spiders such as the wolf spider.
The Crickets and grasshoppers have a wide variety of habitat, from rough grass, to short grass, heathlands to dunes, bare earth to meadows.
Individual species of Grasshoppers and Crickets can be identified by their calls. This singing (stridulation) is mainly done by the males, but the females do sing, only very quietly. A bat detector can be used to listen to their song.
The Crickets make their song by rubbing their wings together unlike the Grasshopper which uses it back legs to call. Both use a file and scraper method to create the sound. I noticed that the field is quieter when it is cloudy, but as soon as the sun comes out the air is full of crickets and grasshoppers signing.
- Female usually short winged
- Often Green
- Burst of chirps
- Found in rough grass
- Short dry patchy grass
- Lines on shoulder indented
- 1.5 to 2.5 cm
- Series of short buzzes.
I’m not sure which species of grasshopper these are.
Roesel’s Bush Cricket
- Long Grass, Roadside, Field Margins
- Cream coloured crescent on shoulder
- Long continuous high buzz
- Usually short winged
Long Winged Conehead
- Green body
- Long grass
- Faint and continuous song