Oak Bush-cricket

Oak Bush-cricket ©Bruce Shortland

Oak Bush-cricket

Scientific name: Meconema thalassinum
The Oak Bush-cricket is arboreal and can be found in mature trees in woods, hedges, parks and gardens in summer. Males don't have a 'song' as such, but drum on leaves with their hind legs to attract females.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 1.3-1.7cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to November

About

A resident of ancient woodlands, hedgerows, parklands and gardens, the Oak Bush-cricket can be found in the canopy of mature trees. It is the UK's only native arboreal species; however, the recently arrived Southern Oak Bush-cricket is also arboreal. The Oak Bush-cricket is not often seen, but does fly well and is attracted to lights at night, so occasionally turns up in moth traps or on windows. It 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.

Distribution

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

Did you know?

Female bush-crickets can be distinguished from their male counterparts by their long, curved ovipositors, visible at the end of the body. Males have two short, rounded claspers.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? 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.