Of the established (native) species the most likely candidate for range expansion into our county is one of the country’s most spectacular insects, the Great Green Bushcricket Tettigonia viridissima. This species is large and noisy and in recent years has been spreading northwards and inland from its south coast strongholds. It is a common insect along the south coast of England and parts of South Wales but is known to be spreading through Gloucestershire and so will hopefully reach the south of Worcestershire in the near future.
Another species to look out for and a recent addition to the British list is the Southern Oak Bushcricket Meconema meridionale. This species is very similar to the common Oak Bushcricket Meconema thalassinum but it has short wings. Because of its inability to fly it is likely to take some time to reach Worcestershire but it is heading this way so keep an eye out for short-winged Oak Bushcrickets in the Autumn.
Great Green Bushcricket
Dark green with a brown dorsal stripe. Wings extend well beyond the tip of the abdomen in adults. The female’s large size (around 50mm long) is exaggerated by her long straight ovipositor. The male’s song is a loud harsh rattle that can be heard some way off.
Southern Oak Bushcricket
Pale green with a yellow dorsal stripe. Wings are very short and there are no hard pads for producing song. Like its relative the Oak Bush Cricket this insect sings by stamping on a leaf producing a barely audible ‘drum-role’.
Photographs and more information can be found at www.orthoptera.org.uk