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Tetrix subulata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Slender Groundhopper

Taxonomy: Orthoptera>>Caelifera>>Acridoidea>>Tetrigidae

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

Tetrix subulata Tetrix subulata Tetrix subulata

Status: British Isles native species.

Description: Small grasshopper-like insect with wide ‘shoulders’ and a narrow tapering abdomen hidden beneath an extended pronotum. Wings exceed the tip of the pronotum. The distance between the eyes is greater than in the very similar Cepero’s Groundhopper (greater than 1.5 times the width of an eye).

A previously unknown northern population was discovered in 2008 in the Cairngorm National Park by the Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group (http://www.bscg.org.uk/), including on a threatened site. Any finds of long-winged groundhoppers especially in Scotland should be checked to see if they are Slender Groundhopper or the rare macropterous form of the Common Groundhopper (see also Tim Ransom's forum post of 21 April 2012).

Size: 9-14 mm

Wings: Fully winged, capable of flight and adults can swim.

Stridulation: None.

Food: Herbivorous, feeding on algae, mosses and lichens.

Habitat: Bare mud and short vegetation in damp, unshaded locations. Particularly associated with base-rich or calcareous soils (dune slacks, limestone sea cliffs and floodplains and fens where the ground water is alkaline). Eggs are laid directly into the ground or in low vegetation.

Phenology: Late instar nymphs and immature adults overwinter and mature in spring. Nymphs appear from May to July; adults appear by August.

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