Friday, 6 November 2015

Day 357 - A Wonderful Week & Cracking Conehead Cricket

Hey everyone, well it's day 357 and only 7 posts left to do to complete my year of nature hunting posts!

This week has been pretty awesome. If you've seen the last few days posts you'll know I was lucky enough to get a little clip of my #mypatch video on Autumnwatch Unsprung as well as being asked to do a guest blog on the Autumnwatch website.

Well to add to that I've had three more amazing things go up on the web this week. The first is a great new project called Rants for Change and I was asked to do a little video ranting about something I'd like to change, well here's my video but do check out the other videos as they're great.

I was also asked to write a blog for the #EveryChildWild campaign that the Wildlife Trusts have been running and you can see that blog here.

And finally I was invited to write a Feature Creature post for Wildlife Watch, the magazine and website by the Wildlife Trust for children - I got to write about one of my favourite beetles - the Bloody Nosed Beetle - you can see that article here.

A really amazing and wonderful week! Thank you to Autumnwatch, Rants for Change and the Wildlife Trusts for the chance to do all these things.

Short winged Conehead (Conocephalus dorsalis)
Well, back to my nature hunting and to a creature I saw on my holidays. It was one that I puzzled over for a while until I got a bit of help with identification from Dr Roger Key, thanks again Roger. I saw this one when I went to Hickling Broad in Norfolk looking for Swallowtails when I was there in the summer. Today I'm looking at the Short Winged Conehead Cricket.

So what did I find out about this little creature:

  • This one was a bit confusing as it's probably not quite a full adult, this is probably the last instar before it is an adult.
  • Its most likely to be a male.
  • They like to live in wetlands on reed bed edges, rich fen meadows and ditches.
Impressive antennae!
  • They have been spreading through the country during the last ten years from the south and are now found in most of England and Wales.
  • Body length is 11-18mm long, not sure about the antennae which are very long and you can see in one photo I had to zoom out a lot to get them all in.
  • Adults are around from July to October.
  • They lay their eggs on leaves and stems and they overwinter as eggs.
  • Larvae hatch around may and go though their instar stages before getting to the adult stage by July.
  • They feed mainly on seed heads and flowers of grass, rush and sedge. They are omnivorous though and will sometimes catch and eat small insects.

If you want more photos and facts try these sites:

Devon Wildlife Trust - Short winged Conehead Cricket

Nature Guide UK - Shortwinged Conehead Cricket

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree more with your video Zach, it's so true and the photos here are stunning! - Tasha