British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Omocestus Bolivar

Adults diurnal; 12–22 mm long (the females somewhat the lager in both species); dark greyish brown, with the abdomen bright red or orange beneath, and the hindlegs sometimes red or orange-tinged, in O. rufipes; usually green, sometimes olive brown, or dorsally green with purple or brown elswhere, the abdomen never marked with orange, in O. viridulus.

The antennae relatively short, with fewer than 30 segments; not thickened towards the tip. The pronotum not extended backwards over the abdomen. Forewings well developed; about equalling the abdomen (neither much longer nor much shorter) (somewhat longer to somewhat shorter). The costal margin of the forewing straight, the wing narrowing gradually with no basal dilation. Hindwings not pale blue. Foreleg tarsi 3 segmented; mid-leg tarsi 3 segmented; hindleg tarsi 3 segmented. The hind femora keeled. Hind tibiae not banded black and yellow. The ovipositor relatively short, and consisting of separate, prong-like valves articulated at the base; valves not toothed. 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. 2 species. Omocestus rufipes (Woodland Grasshopper), O. viridulus (Common Green Grasshopper). Native. Northern Scotland, southern Scotland, northern England, English Midlands, East Anglia, Wales, southeast England, central southern England, southwest England, Isle of Wight, and Ireland (O. viridulus), or English Midlands, East Anglia, Wales, southeast England, central southern England, and southwest England (O. rufipes).

Vegetarian (feeding mainly on gasses); found outdoors in natural habitats (O. rufipes occurs in grassy woodland rides and clearings, also on downsland turf and lowland heaths, while O. viridulus prefers coarse grass in moist locations).

Classification. Suborder Caelifera; Superfamily Acridoidea; Acrididae.

Illustrations. • Omocestus (Lucas). • 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.’.