Last summer Focused Moments was speckled with posts featuring the speckled bush crickets (leptophyes punctatissima) in my garden. With our very late spring here I hadn’t seen any until this weekend. But never fear, they are back! Here an early instar stares me down from between two new camellia leaves.
It’s been a while since I posted a picture of the speckled bush crickets in my garden. They seem to have disappeared now – this shot was taken in July. I think it is an adult, although I am prepared to be corrected on that. Here it is taking a well-earned rest from the tiring task of peppering my mallow flowers with holes.
Regular readers will know that I have been following the antics of some speckled bush cricket nymphs in my garden. From cute first hatchling through inquisitive early instar stages to greedy adolescence and approaching adulthood. And what do I get as a reward for bringing them fame and adulation? Plants with holes! I counted at least 25 of the devils out there yesterday, nibbling away at my carefully nurtured dahlias. Have they no gratitude? The youth of today (sigh)! So a suitably more sinister image of one of the little monsters today. And now I have a dilemma…
Whoever struggles with monsters might watch that he does not thereby become a monster. And when you stare into an abyss for a long time, the abyss also stares into you.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
It’s been a couple of weeks since my post about the little speckled bush cricket nymph I found in my herb border. It’s still there, lurking in the fennel, along with three chums. As you can see, it has developed quite a bit in that time and is starting to look a little more like the adult it will become.
Incidentally, when I posted my earlier shot of the nymph on Flickr I received a rather picky comment to the effect that it was a shame I had failed to capture it facing me. Ahem, full frontal enough now? 😉
I was pottering around the herb garden looking for some buggy subjects for my ever-hungry macro lens when I thought I saw a greenfly. Closer observation revealed this pretty little speckled bush cricket nymph. Speckled bush cricket (leptophyes punctatissima) nymphs shed their skins six times. Each version is called an instar. I think this tiny nymph is a newly emerged first instar.
The full adult version, as pictured below, can be found in the garden from about late July onwards. I have found the little nymph in the same place every day since I took its picture. I will follow its progress and try to get some more shots as it grows.
For more information on speckled bush crickets and some super shots see this blog.