Oak Bush-cricket

Meconema thalassinum

About

A resident of warm ancient woodlands, hedgerows, parklands and gardens, the Oak Bush-cricket can be found in the canopy of mature trees. Our only completely arboreal species, except for the recently arrived, and wingless, Southern Oak Bush-cricket, it is probably one of the least often seen crickets. However, the adults do fly well and are attracted to lights at night, occasionally turning up in moth traps or on windows. The Oak Bush-cricket is carnivorous and feeds on smaller invertebrates. It does not have a 'song' as such, but drums on leaves with its hind legs. The female lays her eggs in tree bark in late summer and the nymphs emerge the following June.

How to identify

The Oak Bush-cricket has a slender, lime green body, with medium-length wings and an orangey-brown strip running down its back. It lacks the black speckles of the Speckled Bush-cricket.

Where to find it

Found in England and Wales; common in the south and Midlands, but absent in the north.

Habitats

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • Novermber

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. 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.

Species information

Common name
Oak Bush-cricket
Latin name
Meconema thalassinum
Category
Invertebrates
Grasshoppers and crickets
Statistics
Body length: 1.5cm
Conservation status
Common.