British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Decticus Serville

Adults diurnal, or nocturnal and diurnal (?); 31–37 mm long; darkish green, usually with dark brown blotches on the pronotum and forewings, but the brown markings are much reduced in chalkland localities; the brown form binglei Curtis having been recorded only once Britain (on the Isle of Wight, in 1951) since the Nineteenth Century.

The antennae long, with well over 30 segments. The pronotum with a median dorsal keel. Forewings well developed; greatly exceeding the abdomen when folded (excluding terminal abdominal appendages). Hindwings fully developed and functional for flight. Foreleg tarsi 4 segmented; mid-leg tarsi 4 segmented; hindleg tarsi 4 segmented. The hind femora smooth. The ovipositor relatively long, with the valves articulated along their length and forming a single structure; 19–21 mm long (slightly up-curved). 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. Decticus verrucivorus (The Wartbiter Bush-cricket or Long-horned grasshopper). Native. Southeast England and central southern England.

Quite widely omnivorous (feeding on dicot herbs and other insects, including grasshoppers); found outdoors in natural habitats (mostly in grassland, often over chalk).

Classification. Suborder Ensifera; Superfamily Tettigonioidea; Tettigoniidae.

Comments. The first and second tarsal segments laterally grooved.

Illustrations. • Decticus verrucivorus var. binglei (Acrididae. Bingle’s Long-horned Grasshopper: B. Ent. 82). • Decticus verrucivorus var. binglei (dissection details: B. Ent. 82). • Decticus verrucivorus var. (B. Ent. 82: legend+text). • Decticus verrucivorus var. (B. Ent. 82: text cont.). • Decticus and Tettigonia (Lucas). • Conocephalidae, Meconematidae, Phaneropteridae, Tettigoniidae: Burr. • Decticus, Metrioptera, Pholidoptera, Platycleis: Burr.

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.’.