British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera
Adults diurnal; 17–20 mm long (males), or 25–26 mm long (females); darkish sandy brown, with darker bands on the hindlegs and forewings.
The antennae relatively short, with fewer than 30 segments. The pronotum with a median dorsal keel (the keel crossed by a groove). 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; pale blue with a black band. 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 only faintly stridulous, or mute (the hind femora lacking stridulatory pegs). The sound production of the males such as it is, 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. Oedipoda caerulescens (Blue-winged Grasshopper). Native. Channel Islands.
Vegetarian (feeding mainly on grasses?); found outdoors in natural habitats (confined to hot, dry places on dunes and cliffs in the Channel Islands).
Classification. Suborder Caelifera; Superfamily Acridoidea; Acrididae.
Comments. The hind femora are dorsally high crested to just beyond the middle. Immediately distinguished by the bright blue hindwings: a common mainland-European species.
Illustrations. • Exotic species occasionally recorded.
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’.