A common animal across the southern half of England, the noisy, irregular chirpings of the dark bush-cricket are a familiar feature of late summer. An animal of gardens, hedgerows and woodland edges, dark bush-crickets can often be seen in quite large numbers sunbathing on bramble patches. However, males are very aggressive, defending their territories against intruders. Females lay their eggs in late summer in rotting wood or bark crevices; they emerge 18 months later, so odd-year and even-year dark bush-crickets never meet.
How to identify
The dark bush-cricket lives up to its name: it's dark to red-brown, with a paler patch along the top of the thorax, and a yellow-green belly. The female has an up-curved ovipositor.
Where to find it
Southern and central England and South Wales.
When to find it
How can people help
Crickets are common in gardens and can be encouraged by the provision of bushes, hedges and wilder areas. In turn, other species will be attracted to the garden as crickets are a food source for many animals, including bats, birds and amphibians, providing a vital link in the food chain. They are more common in gardens in the South. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.