Meadow Grasshopper

Meadow Grasshopper ©Chris Lawrence

Meadow Grasshopper

Scientific name: Chorthippus parallelus
The Meadow Grasshopper can be found in damp, unimproved pastures and meadows throughout summer. Males can be seen rubbing their legs against their wings to create a 'song' for the females.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 1.7-2.3cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to October

About

The Meadow Grasshopper is a resident of mainly damp, unimproved pastures and meadows. Grasshoppers go through a series of moults, from wingless nymphs to winged adults, shedding their exoskeletons as they grow. Nymphs are present from April onwards, turning into adults in June who feed on plants and grass. Males can be seen displaying to females by rubbing their legs against their wings to create a 'song' - in the case of the Meadow Grasshopper, this is a regular 'rrrr' sound. After mating, the eggs are laid in the soil in a pod, ready to hatch the following spring.

How to identify

The Meadow Grasshopper is mostly green in colour, with a dark, grey-brown stripe running across the flank to the eye; however, brown and purplish forms also occur. It has short forewings that do not reach the end of its abdomen. It is similar to the Field Grasshopper, but without the 'hairy chest'. Best identified by its song, which is a regular 'rrrr' sound.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The Meadow Grasshopper is the only flightless grasshopper in the UK: it has no hindwings.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways grasslands are kept in good condition - supporting invertebrates and, in turn, the larger animals that prey on them. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.