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Chorthippus vagans (Eversmann, 1848)

Heath Grasshopper

Taxonomy: Orthoptera>>Caelifera>>Acridoidea>>Acrididae>>Gomphocerinae

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

Chorthippus vagans

Status: British Isles native species.

Description: Dark, greyish brown with little variation. The pronotum has incurved side-keels and dark wedge-shaped markings. In mature adults the abdomen develops an orange or orange-red tinge extending to the hind femora, which have two dark bands.

Size: 13-21 mm

Wings: Winged.

Stridulation: Buzzing with a rapid irregular pulse, repeated at varying intervals; similar to the Meadow Grasshopper but slower and louder, lasting 5-6 seconds.

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

Calling song. Three verses, interval between verses shortened.
Source: Baudewijn Odé

Courtship song.
Source: Baudewijn Odé

Food: Heather and other heathland plants.

Habitat: Dry heathland, frequently in areas of pure heather without grasses. The eggs are laid just below the surface of the soil.

Phenology: Short season with nymphs hatching in May. Adults appear by late June and July but only survive until October.

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