Sunday, 20 November 2011

Short-winged Conehead crickets (Conocephalus dorsalis) at Carnforth saltmarsh

September 27/29, 2011:
Close to the upper tidal limit at Carnforth, these bush-crickets can be found amongst the Sea Rush and other associated plants in the late summer and autumn. Coneheads (so named due to the shape of their heads) arrived in this general area only in recent years and are now spreading rapidly and are recorded from the Lune estuary northwards to the Humphrey Head area in Cumbria. They are coloured bright green with brown-orange eyes and brownish wings.

[Making a hasty retreat to ground level when approached]

[Exhibiting unusual behaviour?]

They are most easily located using a bat detector when on a sunny day their almost constant high pitched chirping can be readily picked up. Despite this, they aren't easy to locate amongst the dense vegetation and will quickly hide behind stems of rushes or drop down out of sight when approached. They sometimes survive until November and the first frosts but a check here last week (November 10th) failed to find any.

[Well camouflaged and often difficult to see amongst the vegetation]

[Seen from above]

[.....and from below]

[Another view from above. Like all bush-crickets they have very long antennae]

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