British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Gomphocerippus Roberts

Gomphocerus auctt., nec Thunberg.

Adults 14–22 mm long (the females somewhat the larger); predominantly brown, occasionally reddish-purple in females, the hind tibiae of both sexes and the abdomen of males becoming orange.

The antennae relatively short, with fewer than 30 segments; thickened towards the tip (strongly clubbed). The antennal tips white. Forewings well developed; about equalling the abdomen (neither much longer nor much shorter). The costal margin of the forewing straight, the wing narrowing gradually with no basal dilation. Hindwings fully developed and functional for flight. Foreleg tarsi 3 segmented; mid-leg tarsi 3 segmented; hindleg tarsi 3 segmented. The hind femora keeled. The ovipositor relatively short, and consisting of separate, prong-like valves articulated at the base. The males stridulous. The sound production of the males femoro-alary, involving rubbing the rough insides of the hind femora against prominent veins in the forewings. Auditory organs located in the first abdominal segment (sometimes concealed by the folded wings or the hind-legs, and the tympanal cavity sometimes partially covered by a flap).

British representation. 1 species. Gomphocerippys rufus (Rufous Grasshopper). Native. Wales, southeast England, central southern England, and southwest England.

Vegetarian; found outdoors in natural habitats (restricted to warm, rough grassland, mainly on calcareous soils).

Classification. Suborder Caelifera; Superfamily Acridoidea; Acrididae.

Comments. Foveolae of the vertex distinct, oblong.

Illustrations. • Gomphocerippus rufus (Rufous Grasshopper): Stephens VI, 1835. • Acrididae and Tetrigidae: 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.’.