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Orthops basalis

In Western Europe there are three species of Orthops. Paying close attention to details enables you to tell them apart. Orthops campestris is slightly smaller than the other two species and it always is greenish or there are some greenish tints. The other two species never show any green. Actually the animal in the background in the pictute is Orthops campestris. It is green below as the picture demonstrates. Orthops kalmii looks like Orthops basalis very much, but the 3rd antenna segment is much shorter than in Orthops basalis, usually less than 1 third of the width of the head. The third species is Orthops basalis. The third antenna segment is always over two thirds of the width of the head. Usually Orthops basalis is the darkest of the three species.

The adults of Orthops basalis are quite small, measuring some 5 mm. The females deposit their eggs in April or May. The green larvae are then seen from april to juli. The first adults appear in Juli and they are seen till the end of autumn. The adults overwinter and are seen again from April next year when mating takes place and the eggs are deposited. Both larvae and adults are mainly vegetarians, even though they may be seen sucking on other small insects every now and then. Many foodplants are known, but Orthops basalis prefers umbellifers (Apiaceae), such as Herb Gerard and Angelica.

A common, but rather local species all over Europe, including the UK and Ireland.