Sunday, 1 September 2013

Meadow Grasshoppers

To continue the grasshopper theme, again at Mowsbury Hill, here's some photos of Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus. I've no idea what is supposedly parallel, so can't help with a mnemonic for that.

This species has reduced wing lengths, slightly so in the case of the male, but greatly so in the female, rendering her essentially flightless. (There is a long-winged form that occasionally shows up, allowing dispersal of the species). I quite often see nymphs (the immature stages) of other species identified as Meadow Grasshoppers, because their short stubby wing buds have been misinterpreted as the adult wings of this species.

The shape of the pronotum helps with identification, in this species the front half is essentially parallel sided, but flares outwards in the rear half.

Like other grasshopper species this one has several different colour forms, a couple demonstrated here by the females.

Females:

Male (note the dark "knees" of the rear legs, a help in identification):

(Photos taken 03/09/13 retimed in the blog to bring grasshopper photos together)

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