British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Acheta Fabricius

Gryllulus Uvarov.

Adults crepuscular and nocturnal; 14–20 mm long; greyish brown (more yellowish when dried), with darker brown markings on the head and pronotum.

The antennae long, with well over 30 segments. Forewings well developed; greatly exceeding the abdomen when folded (excluding terminal abdominal appendages) to about equalling the abdomen (neither much longer nor much shorter). Hindwings fully developed and functional for flight (extending beyond the body). Forelegs not modified for digging (i.e., not modified for digging). Foreleg tarsi 3 segmented; mid-leg tarsi 3 segmented; hindleg tarsi 3 segmented. The hind femora smooth. The ovipositor relatively long, with the valves articulated along their length and forming a single structure; 8–13 mm long (very slender, extending beyond the tips of the folded hindwings). The males stridulous. The sound production of the males alary, involving scraping the forewings together, the latter being structurally modified to this end. Auditory organs located in the fore-tibiae (sometimes partly covered by a ventral flap).

British representation. 1 species. Acheta domesticus (House cricket). Established alien. Northern Scotland, southern Scotland, northern England, English Midlands, East Anglia, Wales, southeast England, central southern England, southwest England, Isle of Wight, Ireland, and Channel Islands (but all records from Ireland and most from northern England are earlier than 1961).

Widely omnivorous; found outdoors in natural habitats, encountered in and around docks and warehouses, in human habitations, and in hothouses (mainly in warm places associated with human activities).

Classification. Suborder Ensifera; Superfamily Grylloidea; Gryllidae.

Illustrations. • A. domestica (House cricket: Lucas).

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. British insects: the families of Orthoptera. Version: 12th February 2012.’.