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Tetrix undulata (Sowerby, 1806)

Common Groundhopper

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

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Tetrix  undulata Tetrix  undulata Tetrix  undulata Tetrix  undulata

Status: British Isles native species.

Description: Small grasshopper-like insect with wide ‘shoulders’ and a narrow tapering abdomen hidden beneath an extended pronotum. More robust looking than Cepero’s and Slender Groundhopper, with a very prominent keel on the pronotum and shorter wings. There is a rare long-winged form (f. macroptera), found mainly in the Cairngorm National Park, which has a pronotum and wings similar in length to the other two species of groundhopper. The best way to distinguish it is the very prominent keel on the pronotum (see also Tim Ransom's forum post of 21 April 2012).

Size: 8-14 mm

Wings: Short wings that do not exceed the pronotum in length. Rare semi-macropterous form (f. macroptera) has only been recorded in the Scottish Highlands. Capable of flight and adults can swim.

Stridulation: None.

Food: Mainly mosses and lichens.

Habitat: Open habitat with bare ground and short vegetation but unlike T. subulata and T. ceperoi it occurs in both wet and dry locations. Presence of moss is important.

Phenology: Late instar nymphs and immature adults overwinter and mature in spring. Nymphs appear from May to July. Adults may be found at any time of the year.

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