Seeing a cricket walking home from work sparked my curiosity to look into how crickets are doing in the UK.

✴ On the way home from work one afternoon (1.30pm) I was passing the wildflower patch opposite and I heard a familiar noise but one I don’t often hear outside….

It doesn’t look like this now, its full of thistles, cow parsley, ragwort and alsorts now. I love it.

To my surprise it was a cricket!!! πŸ¦—πŸ¦—

I only recognised the noise because I’ve fed my pet bearded dragon crickets, and they sound similar to cicadas which is a familiar sound to me as I’ve been abroad a lot BUT ive genuinely never heard one here.

I was instantly filled with curiosity so I did some research.

The cricket I saw was a Dark Bush cricket (Pholidoptera griseoptera). It was dark brown & black, very short & small at only 2-3cm and their song is short chips with intervals. They are found in hedges, brambles, woodland and are common in Wales and most of England.

❇ I have included an cricket identification guide.

The first comprehensive assessment of Europe’s crickets and grasshoppers has found that more than a quarter of species are being driven to extinction. ⚠️⚠️

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the insect group is the most threatened of those assessed so far in Europe.

Europe harbours more than 1,000 species of grasshopper and cricket.

If we don’t act now the sound of crickets could become a thing of the past, said the IUCN.

They are an important food source for birds and reptiles, and their decline could affect entire ecosystems.
Their habitat is being lost due to wildfires, intensive agriculture and tourism development.

The experts are particularly concerned about species that occupy small ranges, such as the Crau plain grasshopper, which lives only on the Crau plain in the South of France.

Conservation experts  recommend the setting up of a monitoring programme across Europe to obtain information on population trends.


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