A Wild Musical Renaissance?
Deep in the grass tussocks, a dangerous game of reproductive Marco Polo takes place!
The purpose? To attract females; but singing comes with risk, potentially attracting unwanted attention from rival males and roaming predators looking for an easy meal!
The Long Winged Cone-head (Conocephalus fuscus) is one of the 34 species of Orthopterans (Bush-crickets, Crickets & Grasshoppers) found in Britain – each singing species has its own unique song. Adult males produce sound by rubbing their forewings together, the friction causes a chirping sound and can done at different frequencies and intervals to create song! This process is called stridulation and in my opinion is one of the most iconic sounds of British wildlife, producing a therapeutic backing track for our songbirds!
Interestingly, the Orthopterans are one of the earliest musicians of the animal world, starting their musical renaissance around 150 million years before there were even human ears to appreciate them!