In my garden these often appear after dark and I have never been able to photograph one before. They are accomplished jumpers when disturbed.
Although not visible in this photo , it appeared to have no problem in delicately negotiating a spider`s web and stopping every now and then to eat whatever it found.
I`d love to know more about this strange but beautiful looking creature.
It is a female bush cricket:
- female because of the ovipositor
- bush cricket rather than grasshopper because of the long slender antennae (rather than short stubby)
If I am seeing your photo correctly, this is one of the two oak bush crickets (Meconema spp.).
These two species have a yellow line along the middle of their back, and I can't quite tell if I am seeing that, or whether that's a reflection of your camera's flash light (like on its legs); I suspect it is not the flash reflection.
The two species are:
- oak bush cricket, Meconema thalassinum
- southern oak bush cricket, Meconema meridionale
To tell which species it is, see the guidance on these pages (especially the size):
Plenty of other refs, eg:
If you find more green bush crickets, note:
- speckled bush cricket is another common one
- late-stage nymphs can add to the confusion (looking a bit different from the adults they become)
I think this must be a nymph of the Oak Bush Cricket. Meconema thalassinum as the other is described as flightless and I have seen these fly upto a metre and a half. I am saying its a nymph because there dosn't appear to be any obvious wings. The one in my photo is about 15mm long. Of course I could be wrong and have both in my garden!
As regard the 'nano moth' - well I never!!! I really didn't think that moths could get that small. I knew about small Hymenoptera - gall wasps etc which I have read about in an old copy of a Russian book by Malyshev - but not moths.
The book was recommended by staff of the NHM when as a teenager they invited me to come behind the scenes and talk to their experts on ants . They had just returned from an expedition in Angola and showed me around their camper/lab . It was a long time ago but I felt greatly honoured at the time. I still have the book.
Cheers again, Ray.
Well done for the ID.
Re your other posting (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/message/33557#33557)...
Yes, moths can get really small - quite a challenge to photograph well.
The smallest british moth is the pigmy sorrel moth, Enteucha acetosae.
It has a wingspan of just 3 or 4mm, and is about 2mm long when resting!
It is also one of the smallest moths in the world.
Nice story. I know how that sort of thing can stick with you.
I'm sorry to say I think the "corrrect" answer is in this case incorrect. From the size of the ovipositor, this bush-cricket has to be either adult or a final instar nymph. If it were a nymph of the common Oak Bush-cricket it would have large roughly triangular wing pads, which are clearly not present here. Indeed, if you look carefully, you should be able to discern faintly just behind the two brownish marks on the pronotum the outline of two very small roughly oval, scale-like wings. This is typical of an adult Southern Oak Bush-cricket Meconema meridionale. It's very likely that both species occur together in the garden.
Many thanks Michael for your acute observation. I saw a male cricket last night in the same area but he was too lively to photograph.
In my original post I said that I thought that this cricket was negotiating a spiders web. I wonder if they are predatory on spiders? Next time I shall try to capture one with my net to photograph it more clearly before releasing it.
Yes there are both species in may garden. And I saw a male in broad daylight wandering around on the pavement in Fulham. Cannot ever recall seeing one of these as a youth so perhaps they are becoming more common.