The most important species to occur in Hastings is the sickle-bearing bush-cricket. The first breeding population of this species in Britain was discovered at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, and it still occurs in small numbers at the site it was found. This species is spreading north in Europe and it is expected to colonise other areas in southern Britain.
A few nationally scarce species also occur in Hastings most notably grey bush-cricket and Cepero’s groundhopper. Both these species are associated with coastal habitats, grey bush-cricket liking dry sparsely vegetated areas of undercliff and shingle beach, and can be found amongst undercliff at Glyne Gap and Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. Cepero’s groundhopper is associated with small pools of water on undercliff at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, but has also been found around a small spring on the cliff-top.
Long-winged conehead and Roesel’s bush-cricket are both nationally scarce species but they have greatly expanded their distribution on recent years and are now common throughout Hastings on areas of rough grassland, allotments, meadows and even amongst uncut lawns in large gardens.
Another nationally scarce species to occur in Hastings is the woodland grasshopper. It is sporadic in appearance as it likes to colonise newly disturbed ground in coppice woodland, woodland edge and heathland. It has been recorded from Marline Valley, Church Wood and Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. It is a stirking grasshopper with it’s dark almost black colouration and bright red end to it’s abdomen.
Species recorded in Hastings & St. Leonards
Meconema thalassinum (De Geer, 1773) Oak Bush-cricket [flickr]
Tettigonia viridissima (Linnaeus, 1758) Great Green Bush-cricket
Pholidoptera griseoaptera (De Geer, 1773) Dark Bush-cricket
Platycleis albopunctata (Goeze, 1778) Grey Bush-cricket
Metrioptera roeselii (Hagenbach, 1822) Roesel’s Bush-cricket
Conocephalus discolor (Thunberg, 1815) Long-winged Conehead
Conocephalus dorsalis (Latreille, 1804) Short-winged Conehead
Phaneroptera falcata (Poda, 1761) Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket
Leptophyes punctatissima (Bosc, 1792) Speckled Bush-cricket
Tetrix ceperoi (Bolivar, 1887) Cepero’s Groundhopper
Tetrix subulata (Linnaeus, 1758) Slender Groundhopper
Tetrix undulata (Sowerby, 1806) Common Groundhopper
Omocestes rufipes (Zetterstedt, 1821) Woodland Grasshopper
Omocestes viridulus (Linnaeus, 1758) Common Green Grasshopper
Glyptobothrus brunneus (Thunberg, 1815) Field Grasshopper
Chorthippus parallelus (Zetterstedt, 1821) Meadow Grasshopper
Chorthippus albomarginatus (De Geer, 1773) Lesser Marsh Grasshopper
Myrmeleotettix maculatus (Thunberg, 1815) Mottled Grasshopper