Orthoptera


Málaga and its neighbouring areas have a rich Orthoptera fauna.  I have been recording the species within the Parques Naturales for a number of years and reports on the species found are included in the pdf files on the Home Page.

Some References to Iberian Orthoptera Species 

Below are just a few of the more interesting species I have found.

Crickets & Bushcrickets [Ensifera]

Canariola emarginata  paynei
Canariola emarginata paynei

Canariola emarginata paynei Llucià-Pomares & Quiñones-Alarcón, 2013

I found a single male of this sub-species of bushcricket [cf: D Llucià-Pomares & J Quiñones-Alarcón (2013) S.E.A. 53: 7-30] on the lower branches of Quercus suber tree growing, with others scattered within a Pinus halepensis woodland on the lower slopes of the Sierra de Tejeda, just inside Granada province.  A number of searches in this general area on oaks and on hawthorn [the usual host plant of Canariola species] have failed to find any other individuals.  The oaks in this area are mature trees 8+ metres high and it may well be that it normally inhabits the canopy of these trees - out of reach.  Elsewhere, Canariola emarginata has only been found in the Sierra de Segura, Jaen.  It is adult in the late summer.

Ctenodecticus granatensis Pascual, 1978

This small bushcricket is endemic to the mountain ranges of the Sierra Nevada and the Sierra de Tejeda.  It is often found in association with Chorthippus nevadensis but is more confined to the sunnier south-facing slopes than that species.  It has only been found in the denser areas of hedgehog heath dominated by plants such as Erinacea anthyllis.  It is adult during July, August and September.

Ctenodecticus granadensis
Ctenodecticus granadensis
Oecanthus dulcisonans
Oecanthus dulcisonans

Oecanthus dulcisonans Gorochov, 1993

This tree cricket has only been separated from O. pellucens during the past decade [cf Zootaxa (2009) 2284: 63-68].  It can be found in this region below about 500m above sea level whereas O pellucens more commonly occurs at higher levels up to over 1000m asl.  They both occur in my garden at 360m asl where I find them amongst low trees and scrub during the summer months.

Paramogoplistes ortini Llucià-Pomares, 2015

This tiny cricket which inhabits leaf litter within broad-leaved woodland has recently been separated from the closely related Mogoplistes brunneus [cf D Llucià-Pomares (2015) S.E.A. 56: 39-48].  I have found it within a few Quercus suber woodlands in eastern Málaga as well as below a large Ceratonia siliqua and adjacent Q rotundifolia tree within my garden.

Paramogoplistes ortini
Paramogoplistes ortini
Petaloptila malacitana
Petaloptila malacitana male
Pelatoptila malacitana female
Pelatoptila malacitana female

Petalptila malacitana Barranco, 2010

A few years ago this cricket was discovered in caves around the lower parts of the Sierra de Almijara.  It regularly comes into my house near Comares, Málaga during the late winter and early spring, initially as large nymphs which are followed by adults.  This species replaces Gryllomorpha longicauda which appear in the house in late summer and autumn. Unlike Gryllomorpha, Petaloptila has not been seen outside the house.

Platycleis sabulosa (Azam, 1901)

Apart from the genitalia, this species looks very similar to the other Platycleis species. It is the species of this genus that I have come across least often. The sites I have found it in have less dense vegetation than is normal for this genus, most often in coastal sites or around the edges of winter-flooded areas around Doñana, in central Málaga and the Cabo de Gata.

 

Platycleis sabulicola
Platycleis sabulicola

Grasshoppers [Caelifera]

Brachycrotaphus tryxalicerus
Brachycrotaphus tryxalicerus

Brachycrotaphus tryxalicerus (Fischer, 1853)

This is a largely thermomediterranean species locally common in Andalucía. It is one of the few orthoptera in the region that is restricted to a particular type of species-based vegetation, in this case swards of the tussock grasses of the genus Hyparrhenia. This grass occurs in patches on roadside and on abandoned agricultural land where it is fairly resistant to goat and sheep grazing. Brachycrotaphus has one generation a year with the adults appearing in July and August.

Chorthippus nevadensis Pascual, 1978

This is a species endemic to the mountain ranges of the Sierra Nevada and the Sierra de Tejeda.  In the Sierra Tejeda it is found amongst the sub-alpine hedgehog heaths between 1650 & 1900 m altitude where it lives in association with Omocestus minutissimus, and in places Chorthippus vagans or Ctenodecticus granatensis.  It is adult during from late July to September.

Chorthippus nevadensis
Chorthippus nevadensis
 Dericorys carthagonovae
Dericorys carthagonovae

Dericorys carthagonovae (Bolivar, 1897)

I have seen and photographed this species on one occasion in late June in fixed dunes with patches of sparse grassland amongst scattered Ziziphus and Pistacia scrub at Punta Sabinas in Almería. It has a characteristic hump along the ridge of the pronotum.  In Spain it is confined to the south-east, mainly along the coast but also occasionally in saline areas further inland.

Eumigus cucullatus almeriensis Bolivar, 1912

This species has been found in the Sierra de Tejeda where it occurs from about 1000m up to 1950m altitude in rocky, semi-bare garrigue or sub-alpine vegetation, at times amongst scattered pine trees.  The adults can be found from April through to mid-summer.

Eumigus-cucullatus almeriensis
Eumigus cucullatus almeriensis
Morphacris faciata
Morphacris faciata

Morphacris faciata (Thunberg, 1815)

This is one of the few European grasshopper with yellow bands on the hind wings.  It is possibly a recent colonist from North Africa and now found within coastal areas of south-western Iberia.  I have come across it in low, grassy parts of the dunes at Mazagón, Huelva.

Omocestus minutissimus (Bolivar, 1878)

This species, pictured at the page top and synonymous with O burri, is found on mountains in the southern parts of Iberia but also occurs at lower altitudes further north. It lives within calcareous garrigue and sub-alpine hummock habitats. I have found it both on the Sierra de Tejeda and Sierra Nevada within scattered, often hummocky vegetation above 1500m above sea level.

Sphingonotus imitans
Sphingonotus imitans

Sphingonotus imitans (Brunner, 1882)

This is a species that has been renamed a number of times, the principal synonyms being Granada imitans and Jacobsiella imitans. I have found this remarkably cryptic species in mid-summer amongst fixed and semi-stable dune systems, often amongst scattered pine trees. I have only come across it around Doñana and on the Costa del Luz in south-west Spain where it inhabits a scattering of sites close to the coast.

Stenobothrus festivus Bolivar, 1887

This species has been found in sparse, rocky garrigue [Thymus, Lavendula, Cistus & Rosmarinus] on the northern side of the Sierra de Tejeda at around 1100m altitude as well as in lightly oak-wooded karst hillsides to the north of Zafarraya on the southern edge of Granada province at 970 m altitude.  It is adult during the end of May and June.

Stenobothrus festivus
Stenobothrus festivus
 Stenobothrus bolivari
Stenobothrus bolivari

Stenobothrus bolivari (Brunner, 1876)

This species is found in grassy areas with shortish vegetation that can be periodically grazed in the summer, on mountains from 800-2000m.  I have found it at the eastern end of the Sierra Amijara, on the western side of the Sierra de las Nieves and in the Sierra de Baza.   It is adult during the latter half of May and June

Tropidopola cylindrica (Marschall, 1836)

An unusual-looking grasshopper found in reedy parts of swamps and lake edges within predominantly regions around the Mediterranean basin.   It has been recorded from numerous localities within the southern and eastern coastal provinces of Spain and I have come across it at a couple of sites on the Almería coast between Balerma and Roquetas as well as around the Laguna Fuente del Piedra in Málaga.

Tropidopola cylindrica
Tropidopola cylindrica