The clicker

Large marsh grasshopper
Stetophyma grossum (Linnaeus, 1758)

The wonderful world of grasshoppers can be divided into two categories: long-horn grasshoppers and short-horn grasshoppers. To distinguish between these two categories, we have to take a close look at their horns. As the name indicates, the horns of the short-horn grasshoppers are shorter and those of the long-horn grasshoppers are longer than their bodies.

Take a close look at „the gentle“ for example. Another feature is the position of the „ear. The long-horn grasshoppers ear is located at the knee of its foreleg. That of the short-horn grasshopper is to find on its side, right above the middle pair of legs. There are many more features that can be used to distinguish between those two categories, for example the way they produce sounds.

To produce noises, many short-horn grasshoppers rub their thorned back legs over their wings. This creates short or longer rattle-like sounds, for example srrr -srrrt or srrrsrrrsrrr. The large marsh grasshopper developed a different method: it produces clicking sounds, that are audible up to a distance of 15 metres, by lifting one of its back legs and jerky flinging it back. The thorned back legs rub over its wings and a clicking sound evolves.

I think that I can communicate with grasshoppers. It especially seems to works with the large marsh grasshopper. While imitating the rattle noise is pretty difficult and requires to be able to roll the R, the imitation of the large marsh grasshoppers clicking sound is way easier. You will just have to learn to clip your fingernails (see video).

As the name indicates, marsh grasshoppers live in humid areas. In the Biosphere Reserve mainly on marsh marigold greenfield sites. The fully grown animals can stand the summers dryness very well, but its eggs and grubs are very sensitive and require a permanently humid surrounding.

In some areas of Germany, the large marsh grasshopper became rare, for example in the mostly agricultural used region of Anterior Palatinate, where it will almost exclusively be found in nature reserves. In this area and in the Biosphere Reserve the species is dependent on wet grasslands that is mowed or grazed.

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