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Tettigonia viridissima, the Great Green Bush-Cricket, is a species of 'katydids crickets' belonging to the family Tettigoniidae, subfamily Tettigoniinae. This species can be encountered from Europe to Mongolia, especially in meadows, grasslands, prairies and occasionally in gardens.
The adult males grow up to 28–36 millimetres (1.1–1.4 in) long, while females reach 32–42 millimetres (1.3–1.7 in). This insect is most often completely green (but there are specimens completely yellowish or with yellow legs), excluding a rust-colored band on top of the body. The organ of the stridulation of the males is generally brown.
Tettigonia viridissima is distinguished by its very long and thin antennae, which can sometimes reach up to three times the length of the body, thus differentiating them from grasshoppers, which always carry short antennae. Possible confusion with Tettigonia cantans, whose wings are shorter than the ovipositor of a centimeter and Tettigonia caudata whose hind femurs bear very visible black spines.
The morphology of both sexes is very similar, but the female has an egg-laying organ (ovipositor) that can reach a length of 23–32 millimetres (0.91–1.26 in). It reaches the end of the elytra and is slightly curved downward. The larvae are green and as the imago show on their back a thin brown longitudinal stripe. The ovipositor can be seen from the fifth stage; the wings appear in both genders from the sixth stage.
Tettigonia viridissima is carnivorous and arboreal. Its diet is mostly composed of flies, caterpillars and larvae. Unlike many grasshoppers, it is essentially active in day and night, as testified by its endless crepuscular and nocturnal singing.
This grasshopper can bite painfully but it is not particularly aggressive. It is better to avoid holding the insect in the fist, because the bite is almost assured. They are fit to flight, but their real performances are quite modest. Most often it moves "on foot" or jumps, which allows it to easily explore the bushes, trees and shrubs.
Tettigonia virdissima nymph on Phleum pratense