British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Gryllus Linnaeus

Liogrylllus Saussure.

Adults nocturnal and diurnal; 17–23 mm long; shiny black, with yellow basal patches on the forewings and the hind femora orange beneath at their bases.

The antennae long, with well over 30 segments. Forewings well developed; about equalling the abdomen (neither much longer nor much shorter) (covering it in the male, slightly shorter in the female). Hindwings reduced or vestigial (in both sexes). 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; 8–12 mm long (slender). 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. Gryllus campestris (Field cricket). Native. English Midlands, East Anglia, southeast England, central southern England, southwest England, Isle of Wight, and Channel Islands (but in England now only known from two populations in Sussex).

Omnivorous but principally vegetarian (feeding mainly on grasses); found outdoors in natural habitats (restricted to short turf on sandy or chalky soil).

Classification. Suborder Ensifera; Superfamily Grylloidea; Gryllidae.

Comments. The posterior tibiae with stout, immoveable spines.

Illustrations. • Nemobius and Gryllus (Wood and Field Crickets: 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. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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