|Female with upwards-curving ovipositor|
|Male with rudimentary wings on top of his back|
The speckled bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima) is a flightless species of bush-cricket belonging to the family Tettigoniidae. The species was originally described as Locusta punctatissima in 1792.
The speckled bush-cricket is common across much of Europe. It ranges from the British Isles, France and Belgium in the west to the European parts of Russia in the east, and from southern Scandinavia in the north to southern Italy, Bulgaria and Greece. It has been recorded as far south as Israel. It is also present in the Nearctic realm.
Leptophyes punctatissima can reach a body length of about 10–15 mm (0.39–0.59 in). These bush-crickets are mainly grass-green with minute black speckles (more evident in the nymphs), as reflected in the common and Latin name of the species. Its colouring and secretive lifestyle, hidden away in the undergrowth, mean that it often passes unnoticed. The dorsal surface of the abdomen features an orangey-brown stripe; this is more pronounced in the male than the female. A yellow-white stripe extends backwards from the eyes. The lower legs and feet are brownish. The antennae are twice as long as the body. The species is brachypterous: the male's forewings are reduced to small flaps, and those of the female are even more reduced. The hindwings are completely absent, and both males and females are flightless. The female's ovipositor is laterally compressed and curves sharply upwards.
These bush-crickets can be found from April to November. Nymphs emerge in May and develop into their adults during late summer. Females lay their eggs in late summer in the bark of a tree or a plant stem. Then they overwinter until next spring.
The song of the male, produced by rubbing the right wing against a tooth-like projection at the base of the left, is short (1 to 10 ms) and feeble, barely audible to human ears; at a frequency of 40 kHz, it can best be heard with the aid of a bat detector. Unlike other cricket species, the female is able to respond to the male's calls with a weaker call of her own, which attracts the male to her.
- Cigliano, M. M., H. Braun, D. C. Eades, & D. Otte species Leptophyes punctatissima (Bosc, 1792) Orthoptera Species File
- Bosc. 1792. Actes Soc. Hist. Nat. Paris 1:44
- Fauna Europaea
- Harz, Kurt (1969). Orthopteren Europas/The Orthoptera of Europe. Springer. pp. 86–87. ISBN 978-90-6193-115-7.
- Martin Davies Grasshoppers, Crickets and Bush-Crickets in Devon
- The Wildlife Trust
- Les Insectes (in French)
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