The gentle

Speckled Bush-Cricket

(Leptophyes punctatissima)
 

The german name of this species can be translated to „gentle“- or „tender“-cricket. This reflects the
long-horn grasshoppers filigree.

The speckled bush-cricket lives on shrubs and high shrubs, on the edge of the forests, in field
hedges, parks and gardens. Its body size ranges between only 10 and 14mm. It lives hidden and
you will barely see it. Also its sounds ssbb… ssbb… sspp… are hardly audible. We will have to get really close to the cricket to actually be able to hear the high frequencies of its sounds. The males produce the sounds by rubbing their short wings.


As it produces sounds, it obviously wants to be heard, too. But where are the „ears“ of the crickets located? The ears of the speckled bush-cricket are oval and clearly visible. Provided, that you have keen eyes or a magnifier and know where they are located. Its ears happen to be on its foreleg, right under the knee. This is a characteristic of every long-horn grasshopper and you can see them clearly in Fynns drawing.

Researchers repeatedly delivered proof of the speckled bush-cricket in the biosphere reserve over the last few years. They found fully grown animals from june to october. Most of them were found in or close to settlements. There are no proofs of the species out of the big, closed woodlands in the northern part of the palatinate forest. It is likely, that the cricket is similarly popular in the North
Vosges.


If you want to see Leptophyes punctatissima, you can shake the shrubs branches and look carefully at the animals that dropped down and crawl back to the shrub. This method will also help you to discover the other two crickets of the meconema-species that are present in the biosphere reserve.


Do not reach out for the gentle cricket, because it will be injured. Instead, let it crawl on your hand and put it back on a branch of the shrub very carefully.

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