British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Pholidoptera Wesmael

Thamnotrizon Fischer.

Adults diurnal; 13–20 mm long; light to very dark brown, only the abdomen bright yellow or greenish yellow beneath; almost apterous.

The antennae long, with well over 30 segments. The pronotum not dorsally keeled. Forewings much reduced in size (those of the male reduced to stridulating organs, those of the female reduced to tiny lobes); much shorter than the abdomen. Hindwings absent (the insects flightless). 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; 9–11 mm long (gently upwardly curved). 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. Pholidoptera griseoaptera (Black grasshopper or Dark Bush-cricket). Native. Southern Scotland, northern England, English Midlands, East Anglia, Wales, southeast England, central southern England, southwest England, Isle of Wight, Ireland, and Channel Islands.

Widely omnivorous (feeding on a variety of plants and insects, also spiders); found outdoors in natural habitats (coastal and inland, in scrub: hedgerows, overgrown ditches, woodland rides, nettle-beds, marshland, etc.).

Classification. Suborder Ensifera; Superfamily Tettigonioidea; Tettigoniidae.

Comments. The first and second tarsal segments laterally grooved.

Illustrations. • Conocephalus and Pholidoptera (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. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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