Roesel’s bush cricket

Simon Knight has sent us video taken in the park, of a Roesel’s bush cricket.

Roesel’s bush crickets (Roeseliana roeselii) are typically flightless with no more than vestigial wings but this is a rare fully-winged form (R. roeselii diluta). Usually these are less than 1% of the population but may occur more often in a hot summer when numbers are high, or on the edge of an expanding range.

This is a male; we can tell because a female has a large curved ovipositor that she uses to cut into grass stalks so that she can lay her eggs inside. To attract a female, all male bush crickets stridulate by rubbing their wings together, each species singing a specific song, as distinctive as birdsong. Roesel’s produces a long, monotonous, rather mechanical buzz that sounds like the noise overhead power lines make on a wet day. Here is a recording:

Recording by Baudewijn Ode (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Header picture: Roesel’s bush cricket by Charles J Sharp (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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