Field Grasshopper

Fast Facts

Latin name: Chorthippus brunneus

Notable feature: The key identifying feature is the hairy underside of the body in both sexes.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Where in the UK: Native. Found throughout most of Britain.

Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus) © Charlie Jackson (Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus) is typically brownish but colour varies. Some can appear striped or mottled and parts of the body may appear in shades of orange through to purple. They have sharply incurved pronotal side keels (the edges of the pronotum/top of the thorax, just behind the head). The underside of body is distinctively hairy in both sexes.

  • Size: Body length- 15-25mm (1.5-2.5cm)
  • Lifespan: Less than a year.
  • Diet: Herbivorous. Feeds mainly on grass.
  • Reproduction: Adults are present from June until late autumn, feeding on plants and grasses. A gregarious species (which refers to their tendency to gather), males perform a ‘song’ to females by rubbing their legs against their wings to create a brief, single chirrup, repeated at short intervals. After mating, the eggs are laid in the soil ready to hatch the following summer, however, nymphs can hatch from late March.
  • When to see: May to October in open, grassy areas. Although they have been recorded as late as December.
  • Population Trend: Stable
  • Threats: Not enough known.
  • Fun Fact: The species is winged, flies well and has been known to swarm.

How you can help:

Join a recording scheme and log your finds – send any records/sightings to the Grasshopper and related insect recording scheme for Britain and Ireland or download the iRecord Grasshoppers app and get recording!

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