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Speckled bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima)

Leptophyes punctatissima (Speckled bush-cricket) Speckled bush cricket - Leptophyes punctatissima

The Speckled bush cricket is a long-legged cricket, about 15mm in body length. It is bright grass-green coloured, conspicuously spotted with very dark red/black speckles. The dorsal surface of the abdomen features a brown stripe which is more pronounced in the male. A yellow-white stripe extends backwards from the eyes. The lower legs and feet are brownish. The antennae are twice as long as the body. The species is brachypterous: the male's forewings are reduced to small flaps, and those of the female are even more reduced. The hindwings are completely absent, and both males and females are flightless. The female's ovipositor is laterally compressed and curves sharply upwards. Its song is very high-pitched and barely audible to the human ear.

Leptophyes punctatissima is well camouflaged among vegetation and usually only seen as it hops to bright outdoor lights or windows at night. It lives on well structured vegetation, tall grasses and shrubs, being found as an adult from mid-July through to the autumn. Eggs are laid in bark and the young nymphs hatch the following spring. A common species throughout southern England and the East Midlands, it absent from the North.

Feeds on a wide range of fresh vegetation, but never a pest in gardens.

Order: Orthoptera
Family: Tettigoniidae
Genus: Leptophyes
Species: L. punctatissima

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