Orthopteroid Insects in Shropshire
The Orthopteroid insects comprise several different Orders. In Britain, these include native species from the Orders Orthoptera, Dermaptera and Dictyoptera, and naturalised species from the Order Phasmida. They are generally heat-loving insects, and none of these Orders is especially well represented in Britain. The species are generally large, many are relatively conspicuous and all can be identified in the field. All species have long-established and widely used vernacular (ie 'English') names.
Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Groundhoppers & Crickets)
Britain has twenty-seven native species of Orthoptera, plus several naturalised aliens. Including aliens & escapes, fifteen of these have been recorded in Shropshire (six grasshoppers, two groundhoppers, one 'true' cricket and six bush crickets). Three species were discovered new to the county as recently as 2013. Males of all species except the groundhoppers sing. These songs are unique to species and, as in bird recording, can be used to identify them without the need to actually see the individual.
Just four species of earwig are native to Britain, of which three are found in Shropshire. The common earwig, Forficula auricularia, is ubiquitous, but the other two species are rarely seen. Earwigs are a particularly unregarded and under-recorded group of insects which would reward further study.
Dictyoptera (Cockroaches, Mantids)
Britain has three native species of cockroach, but they are confined to southern England. In Shropshire, the Order is represented only by a couple of old records for the once-ubiquitous but now virtually extinct alien Blatta orientalis ('common' / Oriental cockroach).
Phasmida (Stick- & Leaf-Insects)
Several species have become naturalised along the south coast of England & the Scilly Isles, but Shropshire's climate is too cold to permit this to happen here.
>> Up to date distribution maps for Shropshire Orthopteroids
>> Shropshire Orthopteroid guide
>> Shropshire Dermaptera visual guide
>> My Flicker photostream albums (including photographs of all native Shropshire Orthopteroids, and videos of singing male Orthoptera).
Please send records to me: David Williams