Quick facts

Common name(s): speckled bush-cricket

Scientific name: Leptophyes punctatissima

Family: crickets

Habitat: grassland, woodland and gardens

Predators: birds, amphibians, reptiles

Origin: native

What do speckled bush-crickets look like?

A small bright green cricket, the speckled bush-cricket is covered in uniform black speckles. They have long thin antennae and females have long curved ovipositor (egg-laying tube) on the rear. When fully mature, the crickets have a dark orange stripe on their backs which is thicker on the male.

Nymphs (young crickets) are smaller with more pronounced speckles and no stripe.

Length: 10-20 millimetres

What do speckled bush-crickets eat?

These crickets are active at dusk and at night. They feed on leaves and flowers.

A speckled bush cricket nymph on gnarled bark

Credit: Alastair Hotchkiss / WTML

How do speckled bush-crickets breed?

Males attract females by rubbing their wings together to ‘sing’. A female will respond with a quieter song to lead the male to her. Eggs are laid on bark and in plant stems, hatched nymphs (pictured) will overwinter where they are born and emerge in May. They will reach maturity around August, breed, and then die before the winter.

Where do speckled bush-crickets live?

Speckled bush-crickets are common in southern and central England and southern Wales. They favour bushes and tall grasses along woodland edges, hedgerows and grasslands.

Did you know?

They cannot fly. Males only use their wings to sing and rely on their powerful back legs to jump instead.

Speckled bush cricket nymph on a leaf against a dark background

Credit: Andrew Greaves / Alamy Stock Photo

Signs and spotting tips

Look for bush crickets at dusk and in the evening on shrubs and in tall vegetation. You’ll need to listen and look very hard as their song is quiet and they are excellently camouflaged.

Threats and conservation

The speckled bush cricket is not currently considered under threat.