Common Groundhopper

Tetrix undulata

This is quite a small groundhopper which is from the order Orthoptera, the Grasshoppers and Crickets. Groundhoppers have their own family within this order called Tetrigidae. I came across this and many others on the damp margins of a local pond.

This is a small relative of the grasshoppers and is often overlooked it is so small. Apart from its small size, it is also well armoured with an extended pronotum which does not reach beyond the tip of the abdomen. The pronotum also has wide shoulders with a prominent keel and it often has dark spots on either side. The colour ranges from pale mottled brown to black, depending on its surroundings. It has very short wings which do not go beyond the pronotum, but it can fly. It can also swim. Length 8 to 11mm.

It feeds on low vegetation like mosses and lichens.

It is active all year round. Found in both dry and wet habitats, preferably in open habitats with bare ground and short vegetation. Common and widespread throughout.

Photographs taken of Common Groundhopper (Tetrix undulata) in August 2015, local pond, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2015. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.