Roesel's Bush-cricket

Roesel's Bush-cricket

 
 The recent spell of warm weather has galvanised the grasshoppers and crickets in to one last burst of activity. Once the first frosts arrive their time is up and that is it until next spring.
The Park has 5 species of grasshopper, 5 species of cricket and two groundhoppers.   With the exception of the Woodland Grasshopper, which prefers the conifer blocks in QE Forest, all the rest can be found in the grassland and scrub across the site.
 
Dark Bush-cricket

Dark Bush-cricket

 

  The Roesel’s Cricket was until relatively recently a coastal species of the south and east. Then about 10 years ago the first individuals were found on Butser, and now as well as being found across the site they are common over the southern half of the country. Temperature change is the chief reason for this dramatic expansion in the Roesel’s range.

The male’s song is a loud and continuous ZZZZ but can only be heard by relatively young ears. They prefer to live in the long grass areas. 
The Dark Bush-cricket is much more widespread and can be found along the woodland edge, hedgerows and scrubby areas of the Park. The song is a short repetitive ZZZT.    
 
Garden Spider

Garden Spider

  
Where ever you find grasshoppers and crickets there will also be the heavyweight web-spinning spiders. The common Garden Spider and the more unusual Wasp Spider both spin sophisticated patterns with radials and spirals that are strong enough to deal with the larger prey. These are easy to spot along the woodland rides or other long grass areas. If a grasshopper inadvertently falls in to one of these webs they will remain still for some time to avoid the movement response from the spider.
To find out more about these and the Park’s other fascinating creatures there are still guided walks taking place at this time of year. These are detailed in the 6 monthly events guide the ‘Park Pages’ which is avaliable as a download from the web-site or as hard copy from the visitor centre.  
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