We’ve noticed a growing number of grasshoppers in the wild grasslands at Letts Safari parks. The sound of chirping is quite something. Often the first thing you notice holidaying in the Mediterranean during the summer.
Crank up the volume to the video below and enjoy the sound of grasshoppers.
The secret to attracting grasshoppers is lots of wild grassland with a nice mix of grasses and the odd wild flower!
There are 11 species of grasshopper in the UK. A few of them have started appearing at Letts Safari parks and in our safari gardens - mainly meadow and field grasshoppers. These little nippers can jump up to two metres!
In order to create their chirping sounds grasshoppers rub their hind legs against their rough wing casings. The chirping sounds can be heard when the pegs on their hind legs effectively rub against the hardened veins that are imprinted on their wing casings. A bit like a dog scratching its rear!
Check out this week’s safari updates at Letts Safari +.
All the grasshoppers are herbivores, mostly feeding on grasses. They lay their eggs in groups of about a dozen just under the soil or at the base of clumps of grass.
The female grasshopper covers them with a frothy substance that soon hardens into a protective covering that protects them over winter. They hatch in the spring, and the young grasshoppers may be seen leaping around in May and June.
Tip: Let your wild grasses grow naturally, just mowing paths and seating spaces. Remove dock, nettle and creeping bramble when the ground is wet (that way the roots come out easily). Wear strong rubber gloves. Plant Yellow Rattle in your second or third year to improve the soil and weaken the grasses, creating the conditions for natural wildflower to come through.
Also, see our latest update on how to create a wildflower area in your wild grassland.
The sounds of Letts Safari parks are developing nicely with birdsong, herbivore calls and deer bellowing. The grasshopper is a most welcome addition.
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