Paul Leyland – Meadow Grasshopper


I usually hear a grasshopper before I see it. Then it’s a matter of looking down on the ground hoping to see it flitting from one stem of grass to another. If I want a photograph, it’s down on my knees and hope the insect stays still or that it won’t be completely obscured by the undergrowth. However sometimes, like this one, they just sit there and pose. This one was in my garden sunning itself on a raised flower bed. All I had to do was rush into the house to find my camera and get back before it moved on. Grasshoppers have always been anthropomorphised, so it’s easy to think that with its facial expression and pose, this is what it was hoping for.

This is a Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus paallelus) which is one of the commonest British grasshoppers and can be seen throughout the UK. They are usually green but brown or purple specimens also occur. Summer is the time to see them and they can occur in all sorts of grassy or garden habitats. Probably the quieter the surroundings are, the easier it is to find them. It is generally their chirping sounds that first make their presence known.

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