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2016 Report

Our 2016 Report is now available from the Observatory for £8.00 plus P&P if needed. Please contact the Warden:

Grasshoppers and Crickets

In Grasshoppers and Allied Insects of Great Britain and Ireland by Marshall and Haes published in 1988 it describes the shingle of Dungeness as home to 11 species of cricket and grasshoppers. Since then there have been some major changes to the fauna with Southern Oak Bush-cricket added on 7th October 2010, Roesel's Bush-cricket in 2007 and a Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket found on 26th September 2009. However, the most significant events occurred in 2015 with the discovery of a substantial breeding colony of the Tree Cricket, (the first breeding records for Britain) and a small colony of Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets in the same location.

Southern Oak Bush-cricket Meconema meridionale
First seen in 2010 and there have now been 18 records up to 2016.

Great Green Bush-cricket Tettigonia viridissima
Only one Observatory area record despite being common across much of the rest of the peninsula. 

Grey Bush-cricket Platyleis albopunctata
This "notable b" insect is very common at Dungeness.

Roesel's Bush-cricket Metrioptera roesellii
First found in the recording area in 2007 and now very common.

Long-winged Conehead Conocephalus discolor
Fairly common in the Observatory area. Occasionally occurs in a brown form as shown below.

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phanaroptera falcata
A female found at the Old Lighthouse Garden in 2009 and a small breeding colony of c12 individuals found in 2015.

Speckled Bush-cricket Leptophyes punctatissima
Frequently seen around the Observatory.

Tree Cricket Oecanthus pellucens
A substantial breeding colony was found in the Desert - the first breeding record in Britain.

Cepero's Groundhopper Tetrix ceperoi
Found around the margins of the Long Pits.

Slender Groundhopper Tetrix subulata
Found around the margins of the Long Pits.

Common Groundhopper Tetrix undulata
Found around the margins of the Long Pits.

Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus
Very common.

Lesser Marsh Grasshopper Chorthippus albomarginatus
Very common.

Mottled Grasshopper Myrmeleotettix maculatus
Irregularly seen on the open shingle. Seems to be commoner in warmer summers.