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Common Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus

Grasshoppers and locusts are members of the well known group of insects that chirp, jump about and sometimes are a pest, especially if they arrive in very great numbers. Ordinary grasshoppers and locusts are vegetarians. They all have rather short and robust horns. The so-called longhorned grasshoppers eat both plants and other insects. They have very long and thin horns and the females have an impressive sword, used to deposit the eggs.

There are many species of ordinary grasshoppers in Western Europe and it is very hard to identify the exact species as many of them look very much alike. It is also hard to tell the nymphs apart from the adults. You see the nymph in the bottom pictures. All these grasshoppers are active during the hours of daylight. The species below is the Common Field Grasshopper. It belongs to the Chorthippus group. However in the Low Countries you will found some 8 species within the group. Many really do look similar and what is more they are all variable in colour within each species: brown or green or a combination of both colours. Real experts can tell the species apart by listening to the song they 'sing'. That's how we now know for sure that we do have the Common Field Grasshopper in our own garden: it produces very short 'zzz'-sounds (of less than one second). This tone is then monotonously repeated every 2 to 4 seconds. In Dutch the various Chorthippus species have beautiful names such as the rattler, the screecher and the locomotive.