Worcestershire Record No. 22 April 2007 p. 32

HAVE YOU SEEN THE BATHROOM BUSHCRICKET (AKA THE OAK BUSHCRICKET)?

Gary Farmer

The oak bushcricket Meconema thalassinum is known to be wide spread throughout Worcestershire and its distribution has been fairly well recorded (see map). It is an insect of parkland, woodland and garden and so it is not surprising that it occurs so commonly in the county, but Iím sure it is far more common than the present map suggests.

 

Recorded distribution of oak bushcricket in Worcestershire prepared by John Partridge from records held by WBRC up to end 2006.

Oak bushcricket
Appearing in a bathroom near you.
Oak bushcricket.
From the Editor's bathroom

Identification: This is a medium sized cricket, about 15mm in length (not including antennae which are longer than the body length). It is pale green in colour with a yellowish stripe down its back. Wings are the same colour as the rest of the insect and are as long or slightly longer than the abdomen.

Records please!!

At this point I must make an apology to any Worcestershire mothers (thatís moth catchers and not the bearers of young children, although some may be both).

During the Worcestershire Recorderís Annual Meeting I (rather foolishly) accused our local mothers of supressing records of this species, as I am sure crickets turn up at moth traps frequently. When the booing and heckling had died down I tried a different source of records Ė bathrooms, and well over half the audience admitted having seen one in their bathroom. The oak bushcricket flies well and is drawn to light (hence moth traps) and will enter houses through open windows at night. Bathrooms tend to be the rooms where windows are left open on warm summer evenings and so are regularly visited by oak bushcrickets.

So if you own a bathroom and you have seen one of this fascinating little creatures send me a record now whilst you think about it. If you donít have a precise date then a year will do and if you donít know the grid reference of your house a postcode will be fine. No excuses.

Send to gary.farmer@tiscali.co.uk

If you own a bathroom and a moth trap, what can I say?

Please note:
E-abuse from mothers will only be accepted if accompanied by a valid record!

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