Dark bush-cricket Pholidoptera griseoaptera

Best time to see: Jul to Oct

Key facts

A dull-coloured bush-cricket found in hedgerows, scrub and densely vegetated areas

Fairly common in the southern half of England and in Wales

Bush-crickets (unlike grasshoppers) have long antennae, feed on other insects and are mainly nocturnal


Greenish-yellow underside and otherwise pale brown to almost black, with speckles; almost wingless

Song is a high-pitched chirp, repeated at regular intervals from mid-afternoon on into the night

Body up to 20mm; ovipositor about half body length, curved strongly upwards


Pairs are territorial, with the males defending the territory aggressively against intruders

Females lay their eggs into rotting wood or crevices in tree bark in late summer, where they spend the winter

Nymphs emerge in late spring, reaching adulthood in July

© Tony Gunton