Wednesday 14 September 2016

Predatory Bush Cricket & autumn orchid

Predatory Bush Cricket Saga pedo on Eryngium amethystinum, Trieste Karst, 13th September 2016. This 10-12 cm long grasshopper from the Tettigoniidae family is a rare species of dry karstic grassland. As it feeds on other grasshoppers and insects, it favours areas with low grass vegetation where it can hunt them more efficently. Such areas are becoming increasingly rare on the Karst (land abandonmed and overgrowing), therefore the species' rarity. Saga pedo is listed as "vulnerable" by the IUCN and is protected by EU's Habitats Directive. Although I wander quite a lot around the Karst, I've only seen it twice before in my life. Thanks to Paul Tout for the tips and to Peter McGrath (the finder of this specimen).
Mantis religiosa on Eryngium amethystinum, Trieste Karst, 13th September 2016. One of these (common insects) was on the Saga pedo's menu a few days ago - see the photo selection in this forum (pics taken at the same location as mine).
Spiranthes spiralis, Trieste Karst, 13th September 2016. This amazing little orchid is the last representative of the orchid family to bloom (in Slovenia from late August to September/October). On the Karst is quite scarce and favours dry meadows and grazed grassland with short turf.