Grasshoppers and Related Insects Recording Scheme of Britain and Ireland

grasshoppers - crickets - earwigs - cockroaches - stick-insects - mantids

The chirping of grasshoppers and crickets is one of the quintessential sounds of summer. Their song is very unusual in the insect world, and their giant leaps impress children and adults alike. Grasshoppers and crickets are common in many habitats and play essential ecological roles as a food source for rare or declining birds like skylarks, grey partridges, cirl buntings, corncrakes, and common cranes, for lizards and slow-worms, for small mammals such as harvest mice, and for spiders especially wolf spiders and large web-spinning spiders. The crickets and bush-crickets also help to control pests, for example by eating aphids.

There are 27 native species of grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera) and a number of naturalised species. The recording scheme includes these and also the related species: cockroaches, earwigs, stick-insects and mantids.

Over recent decades some species have declined, while others have expanded their distributions and, even, some new species have arrived. The Grasshoppers and Related Insects Recording Scheme was launched in 1968 with the support of the Biological Records Centrre (BRC), to collect records of grasshoppers and related species, and map and study their distributions. The information gathered is used to see how wildlife is responding to factors such as changes in land use and climate. This work would not be possible without the help of people, like you, reporting when and where they find a species. This is an exciting time to record and study these insects and we look forward to receiving your records. Any sightings you submit are examined and verified by an expert, and are then made available the NBN Gateway for conservation, environmental decision-making, education, scientific research and other public benefit uses.

Many thanks for taking part!