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Heath Grasshopper: amongst the heather

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Heath Grasshopper: amongst the heather

The heath grasshopper (Chorthippus vagans) is a nationally rare species found only on the heaths of Dorset and Hampshire (in the New Forest).  It is one of several species of animal and plant that thrive only in such habitat and that is why heath is such an important treasure that needs to be cherished and protected.

The heath grasshopper is much like other heath dwelling species, the common field grasshopper and the mottled grasshopper, so you need a good view to be sure you have found this notable species. In essence the differences boil down to the mottle grasshopper having clubbed antennae which the heath grasshopper does not have and the wings on the heath grasshopper extend only to the knees whereas the on the common field grasshopper they extend beyond the knees! Those are not the only differences but unless you have a trapped specimen it is almost impossible to separate them unless you have an experts eye for detail.

The heath grasshopper seems to prefer dry heath rather than boggy or damp areas. Where ling, bell heather and dwarf gorse can be found then that is where you may find this species of grasshopper. This means that they can be found on dryer areas of heath south of Poole Harbour as well as in the east of the county near the New Forest border. Remnants of heathland in and around Poole and Bournemouth also have populations.


 

 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 7 months ago

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