Monday, 17 September 2007

Wart-biter (Decticus verrucivorus)

Adult female Wart-biter (subspecies D. v. verrucivorus) in the Dolomites, Italy July 2004

OTHER NAMES: Wart-Biter Cricket, Water-biter Bush Cricket
Featured Subspecies: Decticus verrucivorus verrucivorus
Length: 32-37mm (+21mm ovipoistor on females)
Wingspan: ? 
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Wart-biter is a large distinctive looking cricket found in Europe, however it is very rare in the UK - limited only to a very few sites in South East England.  However, in Europe it is a bit more common, and I found a number of individuals in the Alpine Meadows of the Dolomites just in the grasslands.  The distinctive name comes from the medieval use of its powerful jaws as a way of removing warts.

Related Species:
Order: Orthoptera
Family: Tettigoniidae
Genus: Decticus
SUBSPECIES: D. v. assiduus, D. v. brevipennis, D. v. crassus, D. v. gracilis, D. v. longipennis, D. v. mithati, D. v. monspeliensis, D. v. stoljarovi, D. v. verrucivorus

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - A fairly common resident in suitable habitat
 - DOLOMITES 2001 TRIP: A seen at various points in the Dolomites

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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