Mottled Grasshopper

Mottled Grasshopper ©Philip Precey

Mottled grasshopper

Scientific name: Myrmeleotettix maculatus
The Mottled grasshopper can be found in dry grasslands, such as railway cuttings, and heathlands throughout summer. Males can be seen rubbing their legs against their wings to create a 'song' for the females.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 1.2-1.9cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to October

About

The Mottled grasshopper is a small grasshopper of dry places, including heathland, old quarries and railway cuttings, and is often found in the uplands. It hatches in April and May, and moults into adult form from June onwards, shedding its exoskeleton as it grows. Males can be seen displaying to females by rubbing their legs against their wings to create a 'song' - in this case, it is a soft, rapid, 'zrrr zrrr' noise that lasts about 10 seconds. After mating, the eggs are laid in the soil ready to hatch the following spring.

How to identify

The Mottled grasshopper is most easily identified by its characteristic, club-tipped antennae. Its song is a series of 'wet buzzes', rising in volume to a crescendo, and then stopping abruptly.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

grasshoppers lay their eggs in the ground, often at the base of grass stems. The female prepares a number of fertilised eggs in a 'pod' which is buried in the soil; she'll lay a number of pods in this way. The eggs are protected over winter by their casing.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers, landowners and planners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.