Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket

11th August 2006, Friday

While carrying out an invertebrate survey of Hastings Country Park today we found a breeding colony of sickle-bearing bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata. This is the first breeding record of the species in Britain. The species has been recorded only twice in Britain in Cornwall over 100 years ago.

We found them feeding on rosebay willowherb so it is worth giving any big patches of rosebay willowherb in the RX area a second look for the species. It resembles a conehead but is more closely related to speckled bush-cricket.

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket

More photos showing the dark speckling on the body and legs, the sharply upturned ovipositor and the very long hind wings almost double the length of the body.
Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket - detail

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket

Phaneroptera falcata nymph

Phaneroptera falcata nymph

This invertebrate survey was being undertaken as part of the Hastings Country Park Restoration Project by Graham Collins, Peter Hodge, & Mike Edwards. The first specimens were found at almost exactly the same time by both Peter & Graham. Another good find and new to Hastings Country Park was the six-belted clearwing which was found on the undercliff at Warren Glen.