Speckled Bush-cricket

Speckled Bush-cricket ©David Longshaw

Speckled Bush-cricket

Scientific name: Leptophyes punctatissima
The Speckled Bush-cricket, as its name suggests, is covered in tiny, black speckles. It can be found in scrub, hedgerows and gardens throughout summer. Males rub their wings together to create a 'song' for the females.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 0.9-1.8cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to November

About

The Speckled Bush-cricket prefers rough vegetation, scrub and hedgerows, and is also found in gardens. It can be seen perching on bushes, window ledges, flowers and leaves, particularly Bramble. Speckled Bush-crickets emerge as nymphs in May and moult into their adult form during later summer. Most active at dusk and during the night, males call to attract females by rubbing their wings together, but their 'song' (a high-pitched 'chirp') is barely audible to human ears. Females lay their eggs in late summer in the bark of a tree or a plant stem; here, they overwinter, ready to emerge next spring.

How to identify

The Speckled Bush-cricket is green with a covering of tiny black speckles, and an orangey-brown stripe down its back. It has a humpbacked appearance and very short wings. The female has a distinctive scimitar-shaped ovipositor.

Distribution

Mainly found in Central and Southern England, and around the Welsh coast.

Did you know?

There are a number of differences between crickets and grasshoppers: crickets have much longer legs than grasshoppers, but relatively shorter, fatter bodies; crickets have very long antennae, much longer than their body; although crickets can jump (and some can fly), they prefer to walk away from threats; crickets tend to be more nocturnal in nature than grasshoppers; and crickets tend to be brighter in colour than grasshoppers.

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.