British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera
Adults diurnal; 20–28 mm long; brownish grey, with the upper surfaces of the head and pronotum sometimes chestnut brown or even green; winged (with detectable fore- and/or hindwings, regardless of the capacity for flight) (always macropterous).
The antennae long, with well over 30 segments. The pronotum with a median dorsal keel. Forewings always 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 (in both sexes). 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; 8–11 mm long (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). The male cerci with an inner tooth near the middle.
British representation. 1 species. Platycleis albopunctata (denticulata) (Grey Bush-cricket). Native. Wales, southeast England, central southern England, southwest England, Isle of Wight, and Channel Islands.
Omnivorous to omnivorous but principally carnivorous (sometimes feeding on grasshopper nymphs); found outdoors in natural habitats (coastal, associated with coarse vegetation on dunes, shingle beaches, and south facing cliffs).
Classification. Suborder Ensifera; Superfamily Tettigonioidea; Tettigoniidae.
Comments. The first and second tarsal segments laterally grooved. Although Britih Platycleis is readily distinguished from the usual, brachypterous forms of Metrioptera, the latter is occasionally macropterous, and would-be identifiers should check both desriptions..
Illustrations. • Metrioptera and Platycleis (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’.