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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

29 September, 2009

Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus)

As I have said previously when I looked at the Common Field Grasshopper, this group, othoptera, are a tricky identification task.

Along with the 'Field' the Meadow Grasshopper is very common but, unlike the 'Field' it has green around the face and thorax. The abdomen tends to be stripy brown and quite often has tinges of orange and I have even found one bright purple (this often occurs in the females I believe).

The Meadow Grasshopper, as it name implies cab be found on almost any grassland but is especially common where the grass is moist. Just after the entrance to Powerstock Common there is some rough, moist, grassy scrub and as you walk through it you see 'clouds' of these jumping out of the way of your path.

If you have good enough hearing then you may catch their 'song', like a sewing machine in three second bursts and repeated every ten to fifteen seconds gradually getting louder

You should still be able to find both the 'Meadow' and the 'Field' until the end of October and possibly in to November if the weather remains mild.