Sunday, 1 September 2013

Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers

More scrabbling in the undergrowth, this time for Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers at Mowsbury Hill. This species may be found in long grassland over much of Bedfordshire and is not restricted to marshes.

These pictures show some of the colour variation. (Colouring doesn't really help much with ID'ing grasshoppers as several species have several colour forms).

This species' scientific name is Chorthippus albomarginatus, the second part meaning white-edged, which presumably refers to the white stripe along the wing edge in the female, not unique to this species though, so not a reliable characteristic. The male rarely has a white stripe.

The shape of the pronotum (the saddle-like covering of the thorax) is a help with identification in grasshoppers, in this species the front half has parallel sides and then it may be parallel or only slightly flared  outwards in the rear half. (Meadow Grasshopper flares out more).

This species is less hairy than the similar Field Grasshopper. (The pronotum of Field Grasshopper is quite differently shaped too - deeply pinched in the middle).

Females are larger and chunkier than the males. Males have proportionately longer antennae.

Females:

Males:

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