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Grasshopper - Omocestus rufipes - Male
Grasshopper - Omocestus rufipes - Male

Omocestus rufipes
Omocestus rufipes (synonym: Omocestus ventralis) belong to the genus Omocestus, in the order Orthoptera or Saltatoria, the suborder Caelifera (grasshoppers and locusts), the infraorder Acrididea, the superfamily Acridoidea, and the family Acrididae. Omocestus rufipes are widespread from southern Scandinavia to northern Africa, and especially in the Mediterranean region. However this species is not common and is actually endangered in Germany.
Omocestus rufipes
Omocestus rufipes
Male Omocestus rufipes reach body lengths of 12-17 mm, females 18-24 mm. The males are always darker than the females. The females usually have black brown, greyish brown to yellowish-brown or very occasionally reddish brown sides with shiny green backs, while the males have dark brown to black sides with yellowish brown backs.
The underside of the body of both sexes is (moving from front to rear) first green, then yellow then red. This colour change constitutes the most important identifying characteristic of the species.

The front side of the head is black to blackish brown in both sexes. The colouration of the crown of the head corresponds to that of the back in both sexes. The antennae are black and have lighter tips. The maxillary and labial palpi are dark and also have lighter tips.

The thorax is black. The first segments of the abdomen are black The tip of the male’s abdomen is bright crimson. The wings go back as far as the hind knees and are mottled in the middle. The top halves are very dark. Due to their appearance, Omocestus rufipes can be confused with other species of grasshoppers.
Omocestus rufipes
Omocestus rufipes
Omocestus rufipes prefer dry, open, sparsely vegetated habitats, especially in mountainous areas. This includes sandy, stony or rocky areas with extremely dry vegetation and grazed sheep pastures, dry grasslands, heaths, roadsides, slopes, forest clearings and edges of marshes, all of which are exposed to the sun. Omocestus rufipes are active from the beginning of July to November and feed on grasses.

The fertilized females lay their eggs in summer or autumn in the root zone of plants or in the upper 2 cm of the soil layer. The eggs overwinter there. The larvae hatch in the spring and develop through four larval stages from June to November to become adults.
Omocestus rufipes - female
Omocestus rufipes - female

Omocestus (Omocestus) rufipes
Common namesWoodland grasshopper
German namesBuntbäuchiger Grashüpfer
Dutch namesNegertje
Danish namesRødbenet lynggræshoppe
Finnish namesTummaheinäsirkka
Swedish namesRödgumpsgräshoppa
French namesCriquet noir-ébène, Criquet noir-éb`ene, Le Criquet noir-ébène
AuthorZetterstedt, 1821
Eco zoneTerrestrial

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain)), Germany (West Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia)), Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Fennoscandia (Finland)), West Europe (Austria, France (South France (Corsica)), Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Liechtenstein), South Europe (Italy, Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal)), Central Europe (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic (Moravia, Bohemia), Slovakia), Southeast Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia (Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro (Serbia, Montenegro))), East Europe
West Asia (Near East (Turkey)), North Asia, Central Asia (Turkestan (Kazakhstan))
Siberia (Altai, East Siberia (Southeast Siberia (Zabaykalsky Krai))), European Russia (Central European Russia, East European Russia)
North Caucasus
North Africa
Algeria, Morocco

CountriesAlgeria, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
Taxonomic statusSynonymus of Pezotettix giornae
Links and ReferencesOmocestus rufipes in
Omocestus rufipes in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Grasshopper - Omocestus rufipes - Male
2. Omocestus rufipes
3. Omocestus rufipes
4. Omocestus rufipes - female
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Omocestus rufipes
Woodland grasshopper
AuthorZetterstedt, 1821
Acridium viridulum
Chorthippus rufipes
Chorthippus zetterstedti
Dinocestus ventralis
Gomphocerus rufipes
Gryllus rufipes
Gryllus ventralis
Locusta miniata
Oedipoda cruentata
Oedipoda geniculata
Omocestus centralis
Omocestus ventralis
Stenobothrus rufipes
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