Chorthippus albomarginatus

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Chorthippus albomarginatus
Chorthippus albomarginatus m1.JPG
Female Chorthippus albomarginatus showing white wing stripe
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Family: Acrididae
Subfamily: Gomphocerinae
Genus: Chorthippus
Species: C. albomarginatus
Binomial name
Chorthippus albomarginatus
(De Geer, 1773)

Chorthippus albomarginatus, the lesser marsh grasshopper, is a common grasshopper of European grassland both damp-marshy and (despite its name) dry, including salt-marsh and coastal habitats.

Distribution[edit]

The range of the lesser marsh grasshopper extends from Finland and southern Scandinavia in the north to Spain and Italy in the south.[1] It was once present only in the southern parts of the UK but has been expanding its range northwards.

Physical appearance[edit]

Females grow to approximately 20 millimetres (0.8 in) and are larger than males that grow to approximately 15 mm (0.6 in). The female almost always has a longitudinal white stripe on the wing whereas the male rarely does.

The region behind the head is referred to as the "pronotal side-keels" and the bars are approximately parallel in this species. Although quite similar, it can be distinguished from the meadow grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus, which also has straight pronotal side-keels, by a number of characteristics. These include its ability to fly, white stripe on female's wing, and more pointed snout. It often tends to be less brightly coloured and more straw-brown than Chorthippus parallelus.

Both sexes can be extremely variable in colour from green to brown.

Song and reproduction[edit]

The song is very similar to Chorthippus brunneus, though perhaps a little slower, with 2–6 chirps each lasting approximately half a second.[2] There can be an 'alternation song' between competing males. Females lay eggs at the base of grass blades.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heiko Bellmann, Heiko (May 5, 1988). Field Guide to the Grasshoppers and Crickets of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins. ISBN 0-00-219852-5. 
  2. ^ Michael Chinery (1986). Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe. Collins. ISBN 0-00-219137-7. 
  3. ^ N. Waloff (1950). "The egg pods of British short-horned grasshoppers (Acrididae)". Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society of London. Series A, General Entomology. 25 (10–12): 115–126. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3032.1950.tb00088.x.