Scientific name: Leptophyes punctatissima
Size: Up to 18mm. The female ovipositor may add another 5mm.
Distribution: Found in most parts of England and Wales. Highest concentration in southern England.
Months seen: May to October
Life span: Up to 9 months
Habitat: Meadows, gardens, hedgerows and woodland edges
Food: Various plants
Special features: If you study Speckled bush crickets under a hand lens you will see where they get their name from. They are covered in miniscule dark coloured dots or speckles.
On each side of the head there is a pale yellow coloured line which runs through the eye and along the thorax to the abdomen. Immature crickets also have a pale yellow line running down the middle of their abdomens, while the adults have a broad brown stripe all down their backs to the end of the abdomen. The wings of the male Speckled Bush Cricket are just small flaps and the female wings are just small lobes.
The horn-like projection at the back of the insect is the ovipositor or egg laying tube. Speckled Bush Crickets lay their eggs just under the bark of plants and trees and the ovipositor has a saw-like edge for cutting into the bark (see photo above).
You can often find the newly hatched nymphs early in the year, while the fully formed adult crickets can be found from late July onwards.