Insects of Britain and Ireland: orders

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Sensu stricto: = Orthoptera-Saltatoria. Excluding Blattodea, Dermaptera, Mantodea, Phasmatodea. Grasshoppers, Crickets.

Adult insects. Predatory (occasionally eating other insects), or phytophagous (mostly), or consuming stored produce; conspicuous ‘jumpers’ (nearly always, the hind femurs enlarged in this connection), or not ‘jumpers’ (the burrowing Mole-cricket being a notable exception); voluntarily emitting sound (usually, by stridulation, often in chorus, and with associated auditory organs), or mute (rarely, e.g. Tachycines asynamorus). Small to very large; capable of flight, or flightless (sometimes apterous, often brachypterous); flying forms with one pair of propellant wings (the hindwings). Body more or less cylindrical to laterally flattened. Head hypognathous. Mouthparts well developed; of the biting type; not piercing; conforming to the generalized biting type (the large mandibles usually somewhat asymmetric). Antennae conspicuous (often so long so as to extend beyond the rear of the abdomen when directed backwards); simple; 7–40 segmented (? - to ‘very numerous’). Ocelli 0, or 2, or 3 (mostly). Wings when present four; markedly differently textured in the two pairs. Fore-wings leathery. Hind-wings larger than the fore-wings; markedly broader than the fore-wings; much folded in repose. Wings with numerous cross-veins; more or less naked. Wings of the resting insect closed and directed backwards. Tarsi 1–4 segmented (nearly always terminating in two claws). Abdomen conspicuously appendaged at the rear, or not conspicuously appendaged; exhibiting a conspicuous ovipositor, or not spectacularly appendaged; with cerci clearly visible at its tip. Abdomen of females with an exserted ovipositor, or with no exserted ovipositor. Abdomen apparently (10–)11 segmented (terga 11 forming a supra-anal plate, which is sometimes fused with 10); with no rudimentary abdominal limbs.

Larvae. Larvae with three pairs of segmented thoracic legs; without ventral abdominal prolegs. Development of larva into adult gradual; exopterygote; not involving a pupal stage.

Classification. Subclass Pterygota; Division Exopterygota.

British representation. 10 families, described individually in the accompanying data set; genera about 21 (native and established aliens, with about 14 more represented by occasional migrants and casual introductions); about 30 species (natives and established aliens, and about 20 more occasionally occurring as migrants or as casual introductions).

Illustrations. • Nemobius sylvestris (Gryllidae. Wood Cricket: B. Ent. 293). • Nemobius sylvestris (detail, dissections: B. Ent. 293). • Nemobius sylvestris (B. Ent. 293: legend+text). • Nemobius sylvestris (B. Ent. 293: text, cont.). • Decticus verrucivorus var. binglei (Acrididae. Bingle’s Long-horned Grasshopper: B. Ent. 82). • Decticus verrucivorus (dissection details: B. Ent. 82). • Decticus verrucivorus (B. Ent. 82: legend+text). • Decticus verrucivorus (B. Ent. 82: text cont.). • Tetrix subulata (Tetrigidae, Acrydiidae. Ample-winged Grouse-locust: B. Ent. 439). • Tetrix subulata (detail: B. Ent. 439). • Tetrix subulata (dissections: B. Ent. 439). • Tetrix subulata:B. Ent. 439, legend+text. • Tetrix subulata:B. Ent. 439, text cont.. • Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (Gryllotalpidae. Mole-cricket: B. Ent 456). • Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (imago detail, B. Ent. 456). • Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa: dissection details, B. Ent. 456. • Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa: B. Ent. 456, legend+text. • Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa: B. Ent. 456, text cont.. • Locusta christii Curtis, = L. migratoria: B. Ent 608. • Locusta migratoria: B. Ent 608, legend+text. • Locusta migratoria: B. Ent 608, text cont.. • Cricket, adult (left) and larva (Lubbock 1890).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: orders. Version: 16th May 2016.’.