Meadow Grasshopper

Chorthippus parallelus

I have come across the Meadow Grasshopper quite often in my local fields. They are quite difficult to photograph as they tend to swivel around the grass stalk they are on everytime you get close to them. Its almost as if they are playing hide and seek with you!

This grasshopper is mainly green in colour, but can be either green or brown, or even pink or purple. The keels are almost straight on the thorax. A distinctive feature is that both males and females have very short wings (although males are somewhat longer), have no hindwings, and are flightless. The forewings have a bulge on the front lower edge. The knees are usually dark. A fully winged form does occur called (f. explicatus). Length 16 to 23mm. Its song is redolent of hot summer days, bursts of rough rasping sounds lasting in two to three second bursts.

It is strictly vegetarian, eating grass and other greenery.

It is mainly seen June to October. Found in all kinds of grassy places, but has a preference for damp meadows. One of the commonest and most familiar of the grasshoppers. Widespread.

Photographs taken July & August 2015, local fields, Staffordshire.