British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Meconema Serville

Adults nocturnal (attracted to light); 13–17 mm long; pale green; pale green with only a narrow yellow or brown dorsal stripe, never totally brown.

The antennae long, with well over 30 segments. The pronotum not dorsally keeled. 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. 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; 8–9.5 mm long (slightly up-curved). The males stridulous. The sound production of the males method unusual, involving drumming a hindleg against the supporting surface. Auditory organs located in the fore-tibiae (sometimes partly covered by a ventral flap).

British representation. 1 species. Mecomema thalassinum (Oak Bush-cricket). Native. Northern England, English Midlands, East Anglia, Wales, southeast England, central southern England, southwest England, Isle of Wight, Ireland, and Channel Islands.

Omnivorous but principally carnivorous; found outdoors in natural habitats (mainly associated with dicot trees and shrubs, in oak woodland, hedgerows and gardens).

Classification. Suborder Ensifera; Superfamily Tettigonioidea; Meconemetidae.

Comments. The first and second tarsal segments laterally grooved; the male with distinctive, long cerci.

Illustrations. • Leptophyes and Meconema (Lucas). • Conocephalidae, Meconematidae, Phaneropteridae, Tettigoniidae: 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.’.