Saturday, 25 September 2021

Telford - Short-winged Coneheads

Short-winged Coneheads (Conocephalus dorsalis) have only recently arrived in the Shropshire (first record in 2020) and I was fortunate to team up with our County Recorder for Orthoptera to see how they were doing at Huntington Lane, Telford. The restored habitat here has gone back to nature after formerly being an open cast mine site. The fields are fenced off with no access but fortunately some of the verges next to the track were productive! We saw at least four individuals, both male and female!

As the name implies, the wings are much shorter than that of Long-winged Conehead as is the ovipositor which is also more upwardly curved.

They were really active and a nightmare to photograph but as you can see, I got there on the end!

One particular male stayed in view for quite some time and gave better views. Just look at the length of those antennae...

The background was always cluttered but I never even noticed!?

Slowly inching along this stem...

And entering the close up zone!

A county first for me and the females were a county first for images. Nice one David, thank you for expertly guiding me to them! Oh and there also several Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers seen here too! These have been recorded since 2013 but are still very localised. Another separate post beckons...