The Dark Bush Cricket Pholidoptera griseoaptera
STATUS: common in central and Southern parts of the UK seen between April/May through to October/November.
HABITAT: woodland edges and rides, farmland, heathland, hedgerows and gardens.
IDENTIFICATION: body length: 1.5 – 2.0cm. Dark red-brown, pale patch across top of thorax with a yellow to green belly, female has a distinctive upturned ovipositor.
These Crickets are omnivorous with a diet of small insects including aphids and spiders as well as vegetation.
Females lay their eggs in late summer in soil, bark and dead wood.
The young emerge 18 months later and pass through six instars of development to reach adult stage. Although the nymphs resemble the adults there are notable differences as seen in this picture below.
The aim will be to provide continued grass areas in which they seem to reside. Although they like bramble we will be preventing it from spreading across these valuable grass areas which are also important for grasshoppers and butterflies. If these areas were not managed in this way the Bramble and bracken would succeed and dominate the grass which would eventually kill it off.
Areas of grass will remain untouched to help with habitat requirements. The Dark Bush Cricket are an endearing and obliging little insect and we have become very fond of them indeed 😊