British Insects: the Families of Orthoptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Tettigonia Linnaeus

Locusta auctt., non Linnaeus; Phasgonura Stephens.

Adults nocturnal and diurnal; 40–54 mm long; grass-green, with green eyes and a brown dorsal steak on the head, pronotum, and hind margins of the forewings.

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). Hindwings fully developed and functional for flight. Forelegs not modified for digging. 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; 18–24 mm long (slightly downcurved). 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. Tettigonia viridissima (Great Green grasshopper, Great Green Bush-cricket). Native. English Midlands, East Anglia, Wales, southeast England, central southern England, southwest England, Isle of Wight, and Channel Islands.

Widely omnivorous (feeding on grasses, shrubby and herbaceous dicots, and smaller insects); found outdoors in natural habitats (often associated with coarse vegetation on waste land, in warm sunny locations).

Classification. Suborder Ensifera; Superfamily Tettigonioidea; Tettigoniidae.

Comments. The first and second tarsal segments laterally grooved.

Illustrations. • Decticus and Tettigonia (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.’.