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The speckled bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima) is a flightless species of bush-cricket that occurs across most of Europe.
The grass-green body, which is about 15 millimetres (0.59 in) long, carries minute black specks, as reflected in the common and Latin name of the species; in addition, the dorsal surface of the abdomen features a brown stripe; this is more pronounced in the male. A yellow-white stripe extends backwards from the eyes. The lower legs and feet are brownish. The antennae are twice as long as the body. The species is brachypterous: the male's forewings are reduced to small flaps, and those of the female are even more reduced. The hindwings are completely absent, and both males and females are flightless.
The female's ovipositor is laterally compressed and curves sharply upwards. The song of the male, produced by rubbing the right wing against a tooth-like projection at the base of the left, is short (1 to 10 ms) and feeble; at a frequency of 40 kHz, it can best be heard with the aid of a bat detector. Unlike other cricket species, the female is able to respond to the male's calls with a weaker call of her own, which attracts the male to her.
The speckled bush-cricket is quite a common species, but its colouring and secretive lifestyle, hidden away in the undergrowth, mean that it often passes unnoticed.
The speckled bush-cricket is common across much of Europe – it ranges from the British Isles, France and the Netherlands in the west to the European parts of Russia in the east, and from southern Scandinavia in the north to southern Italy, Bulgaria and Greece; it has been recorded as far south as Palestine.
- Spotlight on speckled bush-cricket, boxvalley.co.uk
- Grasshoppers, Bush-crickets and Ground-hoppers (Orthoptera), Plymouth City Council
- Harz, Kurt (1969). Orthopteren Europas/The Orthoptera of Europe. Springer. pp. 86–87. ISBN 978-90-6193-115-7.
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