Roesel's Bush-cricket

Roesel's Bush-cricket ©Philip Precey

Roesel's Bush-cricket

Scientific name: Metrioptera roeselii
The song of the Roesel's Bush-cricket is very characteristic: long, monotonous and mechanical. It can be heard in rough grassland, scrub and damp meadows in the south of the UK, but it is spreading north.

Species information

Statistics

Length: up to 2cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to October

About

Until the early 20th century, Roesel's Bush-cricket was only found on the south-east coast. Recent years have seen a rapid expansion in its range, particularly helped by roadside rough grassland and scrub providing a 'corridor' for it to travel along. It favours damp meadows and grassland, but can be found elsewhere. It is usually wingless, but a rare winged form does exist and fly, and may be more numerous during hot summers.

How to identify

The Roesel's Bush-cricket is dark brown with orangey legs, a green face, a creamy border to the thorax, and two or three cream spots on its sides. It is best recognised by its song, which is a long, monotonous, mechanical noise.

Distribution

Found in South East England, but spreading north and west.

Did you know?

When stridulating (singing), the Roesel's Bush-cricket sounds just like a singing Savi's Warbler, a rare bird that nests in reedbeds. Each species of bush-cricket produces a sound unique to them, and females only respond to the song of their own species.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers, landowners and planners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.