Great Green Bush-cricket

The Great Green Bush-cricket’s preferred habitat is brambly scrubland, bracken and hedges.
Photo: Steve Townsend

Scientific name: Tettigonia viridissima

Cornish name: Gryll is the general word for a cricket

Mainly distributed in the south of Britain, including southern Wales and the Isles of Scilly, the Great Green Bush-cricket is the largest of our native bush-crickets, at 40 to 55 mm in length (see the photograph below of a female perched on a hand for a sense of scale). It is also the loudest, and the rattling call of the males can be heard in the evenings and often into the night from the end of July until October

The Great Green Bush-cricket’s preferred habitat is brambly scrubland, bracken and hedges, where it can be hard to see, with its camouflage colouring of leafy green. Note also the rusty-brown band running along its top, and the very long antennae, which can be up to three times as long as the cricket’s body.

The female has a long ovipositor (all the photographs on this page are of a female), and lays her eggs on the ground: these then hatch as nymphs in May to June of the following year. The adults eat caterpillars and other larvae, as well as flies and other small insects.

Did you know…?

…Great Green Bush-crickets are ventriloquists! Their call is loud enough to be heard without a detector, but can appear to be coming from somewhere other than the cricket itself.

…They have a painful bite but are not an overly-aggressive species, so you are unlikely to be bitten unless handling or gripping them roughly. It’s maybe best simply to watch, though, just in case!

More information and references:

Chinery, M., 2005. Collins Complete Guide to British Insects. HarperCollins, London.

Published: September 2013
Author: Amanda Scott
Photos: Steve Townsend