British wildlife recordings
Common Field / Meadow Grasshopper - Acrididae
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Cowley, Gloucestershire: OS Grid Reference(396500,214500)
Williams, Aubrey John
Common Field and/or Meadow Grasshopper
One of the 30 resident breeding species of grasshopper in the UK, the common field grasshopper is widespread and probably the most commonly seen. It is quite a large insect measuring between 18 - 24 mm in length and occurs in a variety of colours usually with black, brown or grey mottling. Male grasshoppers produce characteristic ‘chirps’ by stridulation which involves rubbing little ‘pegs’ on their legs across the veins on their forewing. The song of the common field grasshopper consists of ‘chirps’ that are about half a second long and male rivals often chirp at each other in turn. This species occurs in a variety of habitats including dry parkland, roadsides and wasteland and they have a rather monotonous diet of just leaves. The meadow grasshopper is the typical green colour that we tend to associate with grasshoppers and is also commonly distributed throughout Britain but is notably absent from Ireland.