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Conocephalus dorsalis (Latreille, 1804)

Short-winged Conehead

Taxonomy: Orthoptera>>Ensifera>>Tettigonioidea>>Tettigoniidae>>Concephalinae

Photos: Click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture.

Conocephalus dorsalis

Status: British Isles native species.

Description: Small, green bush cricket with a brown stripe along the back and brown wings. Unlike the Long-winged Conehead, this species usually has short wings that do not reach the end of the body.

Size: 11-18 mm

Wings: Normally short-winged (brachypterous). There is a macropterous form (f. burri Ebner) with both pairs of wings fully developed, which is mainly found in hot summers.

Stridulation: TWO alternating sounds are characteristic: a chuffing noise similar to Long-winged Conehead but even quieter, and a rapid ticking noise, described as sounding like a fishing reel, or the old knife grinders wheel.

Recordings: Note, your ability to play these recordings depends upon the configuration of your computer and browser.

Calling song.
Source: Baudewijn Odé

Slower calling song.
Source: Baudewijn Odé

The Short-winged Conehead heard clearly with a bat detector and similar to the Long-winged Conehead
Source: Malcolm Lee

The Short-winged Conehead's long call is almost invariably interspersed with a brief section of slow down. Recorded with a bat detector.
Source: Malcolm Lee

Food: Omnivorous, but feeds mainly on seed heads, buds and flowers of grasses, rushes and sedges.

Habitat: Two distinct habitats: coastally on saltmarshes and sand dunes, particularly associated with maritime rushes and grasses; inland on lowland bogs, fens, reedbeds, river floodplains and by lakes and pools. New populations in SW Scotland discovered in 2016 are on Sea Clubrush (Bolboschoenus maritimus) and it is worth checking stands of this plant.

Phenology: Nymphs emerge in May and June. Adults present from July and August until mid-October.

Distribution: The records held by the National Biodiversity Network are shown in the map below.
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