Quick facts

Common name(s): oak bush cricket

Scientific name: Meconema thalassinum

Family: Tettigoniidae (bush crickets)

Habitat: ancient woodland, grassland

Predators: amphibians, birds, reptiles

Origin: native

What do oak bush-crickets look like?

The oak bush-cricket is lime green in colour, with large antenna and a yellow-orange stripe along its back. Its wings are medium in length and the females have a long ovipositor (egg-laying tube) while the males have a curved cerci (a pair of antenna-like appendages).

Length: 1.5 centimetres

What do oak bush-crickets eat?

Unlike other bush-crickets, the oak bush-cricket is predominantly carnivorous, feeding on a variety of smaller invertebrates such as caterpillars and other larvae.

Oak bush-cricket nymph on a leaf

Credit: Larry Doherty / Alamy Stock Photo

How do oak bush-crickets breed?

During the mating season, males use their hind legs to drum on leaves to attract females. This sound is almost imperceptible to humans.

Female oak bush-crickets lay their eggs individually in the bark of trees, mosses or lichens. Nymphs (pictured) usually emerge in late spring, passing through five stages of moulting before they reach maturity in July or August.

Did you know?

Unlike other crickets, the oak bush-cricket does not rub its legs or wings together to ‘sing’.

Where do oak bush-crickets live?

They are common in South Wales and southern and central England, but can be found as far north as Yorkshire and the Lake District. The oak bush-cricket is usually found in warm ancient woodland, parklands and hedgerows from June to November. It can often be hard to spot as it is well-camouflaged and spends most of its time hidden in the canopy of mature trees.

Did you know?

This cricket is entirely arboreal, meaning it lives exclusively in trees.

Signs and spotting tips

Bush-crickets are attracted to lights at night so you might spot one in a moth trap! Look out for them on leaves with a careful eye; they’re very well camouflaged.

Threats and conservation

The oak bush-cricket is not currently thought to be under threat.